Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Please say NO to NO

Put yourself into shoes of X, an Indian conversing with Y, a Chinese.
Y: Hey X, is this OK?
X: This is OK no. Yesterday itself I told you no.
Y: X, I didnt understand what you said, is it OK or not OK or OK no or no OK or was it OK yesterday?

This is a typical example of an awkward dilemma, which a person will face if you speak Inglish or Hinglish or, for the uninitiated, Indian English.

Come no, sit no, eat no, sleep no, right no, left no, there no, here no, no no!!!

Sounds dirty NO?

Now I'm sure all you guys would argue that this is not too egregious a mistake that one may not comprehend.
But think of it, no where in the world except India, rather I've to say, we, Indians are the only people who use NO as sentence terminators.

Again you may come back and ask "So What?, I dont think there is anything wrong in saying NO"
I must inform you that this discourse is not about speaking right or wrong. Its just about making our language a bit more beautiful, a bit more mellifluous and a bit more global.

You may assault me by asking if I didnt have any better work than to write this piece of grotesque stupidity.
There are some well defined reasons for me to write this piece of, whatever you think...
First and foremost, I persuaded many of my comrades to stop using NO, but all my attempts went vain. So thought of portraying my request in words.
Secondly, as an Indian, I wanted our English to be of good quality (Dont give me crap by saying, "Who the hell are you to improve the lingustic quality of billions of people?", instead, be good and try to correct yourself)
Finally, a personal reason, it sounded, to me, as irritating as tinnitus.

Lets do some analysis...
I cannot remember our forefathers and teachers speaking such an English, with NO at the end of every damn sentence. And I havent met a single foreigner who does the same. I guess, the current generation, the hipper guys and gals, the ubiquitous IT people are the ones, highly vulnerable to this NO disease.

Why so? Where did this disease originate from?
I dont have a definitive answer for this. But I speculate, it got sneaked into English language from our beloved national language Hindi (No offense meant, I'm an Indian, I love Hindi). It also has an intermediate form, used by the few hardcore hindi loving, hinglish speakers - Na. Let me give you an example of trasition from Hindi to English:
Yeh kaam karne me toda madad karo NA, pleeeeeeaaase
Arre yaar, please help me finish this work NA
Dude, I wanna finish of this damn work, please help NO
Adding a tinge of south Indian flavour would transofrm it to:
Maccha, I wanna finish this f#%@$@g thing da, please help me NO!

For people (those few who got enlightened by this reading) who would ponder over how to speak the same sentence without NO at the end, you can say "Please help me, I wanna finish of this damn work" or phrase it as a question which is more polite "Buddy, I am supposed to finish this today, could you help me please?". Simple, effective and sounds good.

Anyways I've done my part of pointing out the mistake....err.....not mistake, something "not sounding good" and of requesting you to stop doing it. If you say, you wont, you can whole heartedly use NO as frequently as you wink your eyes. After all I should not be commanding over you......NO!!!


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