Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nuanced Speech

I wanted to explore the language of the present day youth. The 'Y' generation. (Is that the shorter version of "Why is this generation like this?"). I had an idea about a post on nuanced speech. I decided to merge the two. Bad idea? Let us see.

OK. I'll tell you one story OK? (Where have all the indefinite articles signifying a quantity of one gone? They seem to have completely disappeared now a days, I mean, now one days.) I had gone to buy coffee powder and come OK? Sudden rain. Jumped into one shop OK? OK. Neat and clean and all. Standing standing suddenly, I started saying Chihuahua and by the time I wondered when to stop, dogs all around me. Raining cats and dogs they say no? That day only dogsOK? I am thinking, where they are coming from and oh s*** I remember. Below shop no? A vet shopOK? Rain means all dog owners and their best friends in the med shop. Then I see, shop full of doggy things. Oh! OK, now I know.

Standing there, I see two beautiful dogs OK? Same type both. Really really cute OK? Wondering what breed it is. Finally asked the dude catching one dog. (This is the Kannada to English translation that you hear very often. In kannaDa the verb hiDi means both hold and catch. As a noun, it means handle) What breed? I ask him OK? Bugger looks one type and casual like, "it is an Indian breed" he says. You know, like only he knows dogsOK? OK, bugger, I look seriously and tell, "It's like, I think it is Rajapalyam. That's why I ask". Thud, he comes down OK? Stupid grin he tells, “yaa, their father IS a Rajapalyam”. Awww bugger we also know dogs OK?

Well, even if you are not sick of it, I am. This really really ooooooops, .. This really happened to me. He did have the look that said, "Who knows about Rajapalyams other than the cognoscenti?" Subscript - like us. I like dogs, from a distance, preferably in books. I can recognize a few breeds and am fascinated by them. Once, in Germany, I ran away from the table in an open air restaurant. My companion was really scared that he has to pick up the tab for my beer too! I ran and talked to a girl with a really tiny dog on a leash. Learnt of a new (to me, that is) breed. It is called a Reh Pinscher. Reh means a doe in German. This breed was bred to be small, run after deer and bite them and hang on to them, to be hunted down easily by the hunter. Cruel! But, interesting. I swear! The fact that the girl was pretty had nothing to do with it!

I will now continue in "normal" English.

I was waiting at the "parcel" counter of a restaurant. (Take away or "to go" counter for those who do not know this very Kannada (south Indian?) term) I had a fairly long list of things to be packed. A young lady came to the counter and handed her order in. She then went out to talk to someone. Returned in a few minutes and asked the man at the counter if her order was ready. He said that it would take more time. She talked a little further to him in a friendly way that is unusual. She was obviously in a hurry and hence I apologised to her for my long list that was making her wait. Then to compensate for it, I complimented her on the easy friendly way she talked to the guy at the counter. She thanked me for it and said "I learnt it from my hubby". Must be an unusual man, that truncated husband. Not only does his wife learns something from him but is also ready to even acknowledge it!

See what I mean? She was telling me in no uncertain terms. "Look old man, do not get ideas, just because I talk freely! I am already married and am close to my (truncated) husband." She must have wondered if she was too touchy. She complimented me that it was a good idea of mine to bring a book along and read it while waiting for my order to be filled.

See what I mean by nuanced speech?

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