Thursday, Oct 06, 2022
Outlook.com
Review

English, Pidgin-Holed

Forster was able to detect a trend that has, 50 years later, become an undeniable fact. We speak it increasingly badly.

English, Pidgin-Holed
English, Pidgin-Holed
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Writing in 1946 about the way we speak English, Forster was able to detect a trend that has, 50 years later, become an undeniable fact. We speak it increasingly badly. "English," he writes, "though more widely spoken than on my last visit, is worse spoken, more mistakes are made in it, and the pronunciation has deteriorated.... The explanation, I think, is that Indians at the schools and universities are now learning their English from other Indians, instead of from English teachers as in the past.... So it’s not surprising that their English is poor. They learn it from Indians and practice it on Indians."

Forster’s perspicacity is equally striking when he comments on the way we write. "Indians have a marked capacity for worship or denunciation," he comments, "but not much critical sense, as criticism is understood in the West." For those of you who habitually read book reviews, this should come as no surprise!

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.