As long as I understand what you say

English is not my native language. I don’t necessarily think in English all the time. And I haven’t read many classics in English except for the ones that are taught in school in abridged format. My English vocabulary isn’t that good. And honestly, all these apply to my mother tongue too. That is because I had trouble speaking my native language because of my stammer. A lot of tongue twisting takes place in my mother tongue. When I had to relocate for a job in another state which has another language for communication, I had to learn it on the go for my survival. FYI: In India, almost all states have their own language and even though Hindi appears to be commonly spoken, not all of them are entitled or obligated to learn it. So we might have some difficulties in communication, especially in remote areas or areas that aren’t well developed. With such an environment, for me, English is just another form of communication. I may not adhere to the grammar all the times. Hell, I don’t even know the terms used in English grammar or for that matter even in Tamil Grammar anymore, other than the ones I absolutely need in my normal day to day communication. When I came across this debate regarding the English Language, I was interested to see what the elitists (yeah , I learnt that word today 😉 )  had to say. Between You and I – English is going to the dogs: This is the topic of discussion in Intelligence Squared. Its an hour and a forty minute long debate session, but is very interesting interlaced with humor and fine details of the language. I really enjoyed the debate. But my opinion ? I don’t care 🙂  because I still see it as a form of communication. I don’t want to think too much about fine points of grammar when I am using the language. But having said that I definitely would like to know how to use certain words and sentences because I wouldn’t want to communicate mistakenly with wrong word or phrases (I thought of using the word miscommunicate  here but wasn’t sure if it was actually a word or not). As long as I am able to correctly communicate to the other person I don’t mind. Currently, I do care a lot about communicating with the proper grammar in my software code because the machine that is actually trying to interpret it, is not having a sixth sense and is only programmed to follow the grammar to the letter T or letter G (how ever that it pronounced). But with humans, we have the ability to understand a few things even beyond the word, which in a way is a blessing as well as a curse. So ‘Between you and I’ , as long as the language does what it was meant to do, to be a form of communication, I am OK with the changes. I do admire people who use it very well and reading their works is always a pleasure too 🙂

5 thoughts on “As long as I understand what you say”

  1. Interesting post. Most native English speakers don’t know the names for the tenses they use. They will be confused if you ask them about the Present Perfect of the Past Continuous, they use the tenses instinctively, some better than others.


  2. I found this post amusing and even quite funny… no offense KG … your grammar is better than mine and English is my first language, with just a smattering (a bit) of Spanish on the side. A new word for you!

    I love your personal writing style (but not too personal), and agree that the bottom line in communication is to understand what people say. I too, admire people with impeccable grammar.


    1. Thanks Bruce. It was meant to be a light read actually. I am glad it came out as I had intended. And yay!! I know what smattering means now 😉


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