Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As an American, I use the term this morning, but I’ve noticed some Asian Indian coworkers who always say today morning to mean what I mean by this morning.

Is this an Indian English “dialectism”? Is it common in local English dialects throughout India and other formerly British-dominated (South-)Asian countries, or just in certain parts?

Do any English dialects outside of South Asia use this phrase?

share|improve this question
7  
Yup common in Indian english, so is "yesterday night" instead of "last night" –  JoseK Apr 11 '11 at 8:24
    
Nice, I was actually thinking about this exact same thing the other day after encountering numerous foreign (mostly Indian) co-workers who use this phrasing. It kind of has a nice ring to it, IMHO, but it is not 'correct' (prescriptively speaking). –  mattacular Apr 29 '13 at 16:35
    
My mother tongue is Russian and I noticed that because of the interference I can say today morning too, even knowing that it's wrong. We use both forms in Russian but today morning (сегодня утром) is more common. –  user46046 Jun 14 '13 at 9:20
    
When "yesterday morning" and "tomorrow morning" are acceptable, the non-acceptance of "today morning" is purely due to usage and has nothing to do with right or wrong. –  user69680 Mar 21 at 17:39
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

While I have never spent any time in India, 'Today Morning' is common in Singapore, another Asian country once colonised by the British Empire and now claiming English as their Official/First language.

Also of interest:

I teach English as a foreign language in Indonesia. Here I teach many people whose first languages are either Mandarin, Indonesian or other local languages/dialects and a small number of European expats speaking various European languages.

This is quite a common error resulting from Mother Tongue Interference, whereby a student applies the rules from their own language to English and assumes a direct translation is correct.

Of course, direct translations are rarely valid due to the many unique nuances of a language.

"Today Morning" is a great example of this.

Another reason it happens is that learners over apply patterns they find in a language. This can happen with young native speakers just as much as second-language learners.

A learner sees that 'yesterday morning' and 'tomorrow morning' are both correct and so assumes that 'today morning' would be natural. Of course, we know that it is not. Another common example of this is forced '-ed' endings to past tense irregular verbs, such as 'drinked' where it should be 'drank'.

Hope that is of some use.

share|improve this answer
1  
In essence: it may be common, but it isn't correct. –  Orbling Apr 11 '11 at 7:35
3  
@Orbling: The differences in 'Indian English' are more about vocabulary than anything else. There are many words you would hear used in India that you would not in America or England, etc. For example, many words that we consider antiquated are still in regular usage. –  Karl Apr 12 '11 at 1:24
4  
@trideceth12 and @Orbling, You might want to check this out: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_English –  Karl Apr 12 '11 at 1:28
8  
Well, of course it is a dialect. But consider that we talk of British English and American English in much the same way as we are now discussing Indian English. No one has claimed that it is a different language... It is a dialect of English. As a dialect, it has it's own characteristics though, and what Indian English speakers understand and accept amongst themselves might well be rejected by speakers of other dialects. There are phrases used by Americans that I as an Englishman would not use. –  Karl Apr 12 '11 at 4:58
1  
@trideceth12: I consider myself a bit of a mixed breed. Ultimately, I am quite purist but I do accept the concept of a 'living language'. I mean, I know how English came to be and it would be stupid to expect it to never change. In regards to the colonial dialects, I am happy for them to go the way they are but would probably consider it devolution if their traits wound up in everyday British/American English. :p –  Karl Apr 12 '11 at 12:31
show 11 more comments

I am from India, and I don't use today morning or yesterday night. No one told me, but it is quite clear that it is wrong.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Indians tend to use TODAY MORNING in place of THIS MORNING on account of mother tongue interference. In my native tongue, Malayalam, the word for this morning is innu raavile - innu means today and raavile means morning. When an Indian says TODAY MORNING, any native BrE or AmE speaker can easily understand what he or she (Indian) means. Then what is wrong with using TODAY MORNING instead of THIS MORNING? Likewise, Indians use TODAY NIGHT in place of TONIGHT and YESTERDAY NIGHT instead of LAST NIGHT. Such Indian usages are quite pardonable as long as they do not give a native BrE or AmE speaker any confusion about meaning, right?

share|improve this answer
2  
There is nothing 'wrong' with saying 'today morning' in that it transfers information successfully. It is 'wrong' in BrE and AmE in the sense that it is never heard. –  Mitch Apr 29 '13 at 18:22
3  
It conveys the meaning successfully, but it's non-idiomatic at the very least, and makes the speaker "sound like a foreigner" to native AmE speakers. –  Spiff Apr 29 '13 at 18:41
    
It is right when one says that TODAY MORNING, TODAY NIGHT and YESTERDAY NIGHT are unidiomatic and are not heard in the US and the UK. But India has her own style of English, which is commonly known as Indian English. In this style the three expressions have taken deep roots, I think. –  O.Abootty Jun 3 '13 at 5:35
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.