Why were they closing the lights

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That’s all “good”. For instance the Hindi verb “rakhna” can in English mean “to put down” or “to keep”. Webster’s dictionary recently removed “frulescent”, “hodad”, “snolygoster” and “nephoscope”.Behind their omission is the compilers’ assumption that junior readers either won’t come across these words or perhaps they believe that they shouldn’t come across them. Those above died naturally and some are deservedly put to death. My grandmother and her Parsi matron friends would, for instance, refer to all Hindu servant maids, whatever these women’s names happened to be, as “Ganga”.I don’t suppose, gentle reader, that you, like myself,don’t know what these words mean or in what context they were used but they sound fun. And it was thus with the poor Christian girls who came to do menial jobs in the middle class houses of western Indian cities.Yes, gentle reader, I am ashamed on behalf of grandmother’s ignorant, discriminatory Parsi perceptions and language but plead now that times have changed. My mother and her generation, without analysis or any thought for the condemnation of

their racist connotations, abandoned these terms. The Oxford University Press has removed from its Junior Dictionary, aimed at the youngest reader, the words “aisle”, “bishop”, “chapel”, “empire” and “monarch”.I began the column, gentle reader, with an insistence that I don’t and won’t lapse in my speech or writing into current Americanisms. It became not a proper noun in their usage, but a common noun for all Hindu women who cooked or washed or did other services in their households.Some omissions appear to be political. I know that Americans say “my bad” to mean they were wrong about something but it’s ignorant and ugly as when Donald Trump says “bigly”.This is historically pathetic as even an authoritative source such as the Cambridge University department of language studies contends that in 50 years or so the majority of English speakers in the world will be Indians.Yes I know, language evolves and the arbiters of usage, compilers of dictionaries agree as they China Camouflage Fabric manufacturers overhaul them each year adding new words and weeding out the unused dead.

I haven’t checked in the dictionary but in contemporary usage we have abolished, for instance, what popular argot calls “the N word”.So “prepone” will enter the Oxford dictionary. So also, in some self-conscious journals, though not as yet in the spoken exchanges of every level of UK society, there are “F words” for the sexually explicit and “C words” for the female anatomical. Perhaps they should be used one last time in these pages thus:“I was examining this frulescent snolygoster with my nephoscope and concluded that it should be boiled and eaten at Hodad!” Geddit?Words are not immortal.“Why were they closing the lights?” she asked. And the word “recuse”, which I heard for the first time when my friend Tarun Tejpal, accused of a heinous crime for which he has not yet been tried, used it in a press release, will also become popular usage. What then of the young reader of history? No empires? No monarchs?The said “junior” may not need to know what a bishop or a chapel is but they will, in today’s world, come across aisles in cinemas or even on an aeroplane.Some words deserve this obsolescence.

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نوشته شده در پنجشنبه ۲۲ اردیبهشت ۱۴۰۱ساعت 10:46
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