Saturday, March 27, 2010

Please say please#***

Witnessed this fight between two women in Sainsbury [a chain of supermarkets. The new church of England is the supermarket.You have to go there and burn your money in the altar in return for life's essentials and inessentials, whether you like it or not.]

Now the fight was over some thing very serious.
Woman 1 [bellowing in her full volume]: "You said excuse me and didn't say thank you."
Woman 2 [in an ever higher pitch]: "I said thank you dammit. I said excuse me and thank you. If you didn't hear it, I can't do anything"
Thankfully they didn't roll over in the ground and do a wrestling match about the 'thank you'.

The English [and whoever else inhabit the kingdom currently] are pretty serious about 'please' and 'thank you'. If you are loaded into the shores of the island recently they will do their best to make you aware about the necessity of both the phrases. Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and other east asian students in my college routinely get a free lecture from the cafeteria lady when they say "can I have a small cappuccino". The lady will remind them that what they said was very rude and they should add a 'please'. Self has not faced any problems in that direction because have been training to say "please" as acidly as the English.The  woman does look up from the counter at the hostile tone. But, since the mandatory 'please' was added, she can't complain.

Another  duty the earlier residents of the island have taken upon themselves is the task of correcting the new comer's English. They can easily give you a few tips on grammar while servicing your computer. One reason for coming here was to improve your English, right? Since self comes from a colonized country where the mastery of the sacred language was very important, you would think things will be fine. But no, self and the canadian/welsh/irish/english person stare at each other in total incomprehension over 'accents' [on both sides]. Many friends from other countries find the multiple varieties of 'English language' pulsing through this small island too much to take. As for self, these days there is a small satisfaction when some one says "pardon, can you come again?". Just like self can't get what they are talking, they too can't understand self!!!That is what is called equality of the opportunity of the language or whatever.

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