Questions related to the English language as spoken and written in India.

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80
votes
7answers
9k views

Can “doubt” sometimes mean “question”?

I often see questions on Stack Exchange sites which I presume are written by non-native English speakers who use the word "doubt" in place of the word "question". Is this a case of misunderstanding ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

What is wrong in “Please don't pluck the flowers” and other phrases used in the Indian subcontinent?

In the Indian subcontinent, especially India, there are many English words or phrases which are not a part of dictionary or not used in other parts of the world. The first one is "Please don't pluck ...
24
votes
7answers
26k views

Can 'revert' be used as a synonym of 'reply'?

I am a native speaker of American English, and I have only ever heard this usage of the word revert from one person. This person is not a native English speaker (he is from India), so he may just be ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

What Indian words appear in cricket's vocabulary?

One of the things I find surprising is that India seems to have had little influence on the vocabulary of cricket. Notwithstanding India being arguably the world's greatest cricketing nation, I can't ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Is “prepone” being used outside India?

"Prepone" is a great word - it's the opposite of "postpone". I was wondering if it was beginning to spread around the world at all.
14
votes
3answers
8k views

Saying “today morning” to mean “this morning”

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 ...
12
votes
7answers
8k views

Difference between “canteen” and “cafeteria”

Are there any differences between canteen and cafeteria? In India, usually an eating place attached to an office, factory or school is called a canteen. Of course, in some new offices it is called ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

'Questions' vs. 'Concerns' vs. 'Doubts'

This is a region-specific question--Indian English I have noticed when working with colleagues from India that they use the word 'doubts' where the typical American would use the word 'questions' or ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

Indian-English usage of “Kindly”

I have noticed that the word "Kindly" is used a lot by some Indians speaking English as a second language. Does anyone know the origin of this?
9
votes
9answers
7k views

Is “non-vegetarian” a correct word?

I've heard that the words "non-veg" and "non-vegetarian" are not legal English words (i.e aren't in the dictionary). Is this true? If so, what is the right way to say that something contains ...
8
votes
5answers
810 views

Indian English use of “only”

I am from Bangalore and people here tend use the word only to emphasise something in a sentence. For example: We are getting that only printed. What is the proper way to put it?
8
votes
1answer
287 views

How did Persian words arrive in English?

Some Indian words which have entered modern English, such as 'bazaar' and 'cummerbund', are of Persian origin. So it seems they have completed a journey from Persia to Western India to present-day ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Cultural connotation of American English — some examples?

I am from India and we speak English there as well, albeit not as culturally refined as I see in the US. In India, and perhaps in the UK, English is spoken in a straight and 'as it is' manner. For ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Understand Rudyard Kipling's poem If

I came across Rudyard Kipling's poem If, quoted below: If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, ...
7
votes
5answers
448 views

Word for “invisible god-like voice”

I am Asian and in Asian mythology like epics like Mahabharatha, when some person is going to do something bad then a voice from nowhere comes from background, after a thunder or something, to stop him ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

When to use nah or right in a sentence

When I was chatting with my friend, as a part of our conversation I used a phrase. "You have laptop nah." He replied, first try to change your English, it sounds ridiculous, using words nah, right. ...
7
votes
4answers
10k views

Is the term “would-be” just an Indian usage or universal?

I've noticed that Indians use the term would-be in place of fiancé/fiancée. Usages like "Meet my would-be" and "This is my would-be" are common in introductions. I used to wonder if this is just an ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Using the word 'Only'

I am confused about using the word only. I often hear it being used in many contexts that sound wrong to me - but I'm not sure if it's me or them. Let me give some examples: A: Where were you ...
7
votes
1answer
263 views

Does “tapall” or “tappies” mean “mail” in English?

I had been wondering about a non-native word in Tamil: Thabal, meaning post. This word has origins from elsewhere, and I had not been able to figure out the etymology. Searches in Internet had also ...
7
votes
2answers
710 views

Where does the word “snogging” come from?

Where does the word snogging come from, in the sense of canoodling? I’m looking for it etymology, not for its connotation or phonoaesthetic properties, as the answer of the other question provides. ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

Meaning of the phrase “put down one's papers”

In India, the phrase "put down one's papers" means to submit one's resignation at a workplace. Is this usage universal? I suspect this is Indian.
7
votes
1answer
83 views

“[wh-word] X [verb] Y?” in Indian English

In Indian English, you will often hear constructions like the following: Why Lord Ayyappa isn't a avatar of Lord Mahavishnu? Why each day of the week is dedicated to a particular god? Why lord ...
6
votes
7answers
8k views

Does “pants” more commonly mean “trousers” or “underpants”?

In the UK, I've heard pants being used as slang for underpants (or was it in Bridget Jones' Diary?), whereas in India it almost exclusively means "trousers". Describing the meaning of "put your pants ...
6
votes
2answers
544 views

Indian legal documents

I am a resident of India. I have never been able to understand the language used in the legal documents here. Below is an example from an agreement to sell an apartment. Herein after referred to ...
6
votes
3answers
357 views

Is “If I would have X” an Indian shibboleth?

As I was reading a deleted question that asks whether If I would have sweet dreams, they would be about you. If my dreams ever come true, it will be with you. is correct, I noticed that the ...
5
votes
5answers
826 views

She was carrying twins and a bulky bag in her hands [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using verbs with multiple meanings I am not sure if this is Indian English but the verb carry is often used in India to speak of a pregnant woman and often without an ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

Is “weightage” an English word?

Is weightage an English word? We use it a lot in India, but I couldn't find it in my Oxford Dictionary.
5
votes
2answers
302 views

Do people from India consider English their primary language?

I was watching an rerun episode of the Big Bang Theory the other night. And, a character who is from India (Rajesh) is losing an argument, and says: You know if this argument were in my native ...
4
votes
3answers
726 views

What is the English word for the stones used in Indian weighing balance?

There are stones of 1 kg, 500 grams, 100 grams, or 50 grams used in weighing balance. What are they called in English? These weighting stones are normally used by vegetable vendors.
4
votes
5answers
664 views

Is there a word “issual”?

I have used and come across the phrase "issual of tickets" but when recently writing something my Word dictionary tells me that "issual" is not an actual word. Is that the case?
4
votes
3answers
465 views

What is the origin of gully and googly in cricket?

The OED supplies no clue to the origin of either gully or googly. It does not in fact mention etymology of the cricket sense of gully, which has led me to infer that it is from the ordinary meaning of ...
4
votes
2answers
576 views

What is the origin of 'cash'?

What is the etymology of 'cash'? According to the OED when it is used in 'cash-box' it descends from the French 'casse', and presumably Italian 'cassa'. However the word meaning 'loose change' is from ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

“Wednesday week”

I know that the English will say "Wednesday week" to mean a week from Wednesday. Is there a name for this sort of construction? Also, I have a friend from India who will say "today morning". Is ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

What is the proper pronunciation for Kipling's character-name “Mowgli”?

Does the first syllable rhyme with “glow” or with “how”? It is no use appealing to the Hindi for “Little Frog” or anything else, since Kipling confessed to making ...
4
votes
3answers
740 views

Use of “the” in Indian English

The word "the" in Indian English seems to have a different function than in American English, and I'd like to understand it better. The first sentence of this article demonstrates what I mean: ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Parenthetical commas and foreign English

I advise a friend on her writing, despite not quite knowing an adverb from a proverb (kidding (kinda)). Invariably, parenthetical commas such as the following: Jane, my assistant, opened the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a female proprietor be called as “proprietor”?

I know the female version of proprietor can be called as proprietress or proprietrix. But I want to know whether a female proprietor can also be called a proprietor? Or does proprietor only indicate ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Choosing between “100%” and “cent percent”

I am a non-native English speaker. I am applying for the USA university for management studies. While writing the essay I came across the sentence, "I was 100% confident." My query: Is it ...
3
votes
5answers
26k views

Difference between “Thanking you” and “Thank you”?

I always use in my letter "Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration." But one of my colleagues said thanking you was not correct usage of English, it should be thank you. So my ...
3
votes
2answers
649 views

Usage of the word “latest”

Raj has breakfast almost always before 7:45 AM. On rare occasions, he has after 7:45 AM, but never after 8:00 AM. So If he says "I always have my breakfast latest by 8:00 AM" to convey this fact, is ...
3
votes
3answers
40k views

Can “casted” be the past tense of “cast”?

'The Hindu,' an Indian daily, reports: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely casted his vote at Chimanbhai Patel Institute opposite Karnavati club. Does the verb cast has a form as ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

“May I know your good name?” [closed]

“May I know your good name” is a typically Indian way of honouring the other person (who is previously unknown) by asking their name using an adjective like sweet, good, beautiful, et cetera — and of ...
3
votes
2answers
454 views

Is “learning yourself” the same as “learning by yourself”?

(Other than the first also meaning to learn about oneself...) Is learning yourself the same as learning by yourself? How much do these two phrases differ? In India's spoken English, the former is ...
3
votes
1answer
394 views

Why is the term “isn't it?” so predominant in Indian English?

I apologize in advance if I am ignorantly and incorrectly assigning this to Indian English. When I was in medical school, I had a number of professors who were native to India. Being a school ...
3
votes
1answer
412 views

Best Dictionary for Indian English

English (India) has evolved over the years. It's being given a separate place of its own since the no. of English-speakers are growing rapidly. An example would be the addition of the option English ...
2
votes
4answers
92 views

is “merablum” or “merablem” a word?

is there a word "merablum"? maybe "merablem"? It means scrap or remnant of food left on a plate. I always thought it was a word but I googled it and - nothing. Is Google unaware of it or is it a made ...
2
votes
2answers
408 views

Is “stepmother treatment” Indian English?

When I googled stepmother treatment, I found that it was mainly used in India to refer to neglect, disregard or inattention. Most of the other non-Indian links talked about the literal treatment by ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is it wrong to use “The India” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using the definite article before a country/state name We say “The United States of America” but not “The India”. Why is it so?
2
votes
0answers
52 views

What expressions/words are still used in Indian English that are no longer in British English? [duplicate]

I was traveling through India recently and noticed that many expressions that people used that I saw were somewhat older expressions, now disused in Standard English. Examples of these were: ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Is the usage “can able to” wrong? I believe it's wrong. But where can I find some reference on the same?

I hear a lot of people use 'can able to' in their daily talk. I believe it's entirely wrong. Both 'can' and 'able to' hold the same meaning. Where do I get more information on the same and also the ...