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Being an Indian, I don't like the way we Indians use the English. Of course I also make mistakes, but I will try to learn from time to time.
I see and hear some phrases like, Please do the needful, Years back etc which are absolute blunders, I was wondering if Single Sitting is also Indian made ;)?
(Actually I am pretty sure it is Indian made :D ) Generally we hear this phrase as in http://goo.gl/y3gl06.

By Single Sitting we Indians mean the job attached to this phrase can be done in single visit.

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    @oerkelens - "thrice" is new? – user98990 Feb 25 '15 at 12:15
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    Please do the needful was pretty common in the UK (and I presume the US), years back. Single sitting, likewise, but single sitting is probably still in common use. One could get all one's teeth removed in a single sitting back then. – Frank Feb 25 '15 at 12:17
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    @LittleEva: thrice is, alas, deemed archaic in most English dialects, as far as I am aware. I for one got repeatedly corrected by my teachers when insisting on using it, but it is just so much more elegant than three times :) – oerkelens Feb 25 '15 at 12:17
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    @oerkelens There's a big difference between InE and dialects like AusE, BrE, AmE, etc: speakers of those latter dialects have English as a first (and frequently only) language; speakers of InE overwhelmingly have it as a second (or third, fourth), and typically only use it in a specific (work) context, as opposed to a day-to-day language in the home. That said, I agree with you that "Do the needful" isn't a blunder: it's an abomination. – Dan Bron Feb 25 '15 at 12:19
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    @DanBron: there are more and more native speakers of InE, and according to for instance David Crystal, InE will become in the 21st century what AmE was in the 20th and BrE in the 19th. It may at the moment be less clearly defined than some other dialects, but discarding it, as the OP does, as a collection of "blunders" seems linguistically unjustified. – oerkelens Feb 25 '15 at 12:24
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Outside of India, single sitting is and was certainly used, as attested in the comments, but it will nowadays usually refer to a meal.

The (extended) meaning of in the time frame of a single occurrence may be typical Indian usage currently, but I would certainly not qualify such usage as a “blunder”, let alone an “absolute” one.

It is no more a blunder than an American calling a pharmacy a drug store!

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    What the reason for the downvote? – user98990 Feb 25 '15 at 12:53
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    I was considering downvoting for saying "will usually refer to a meal," but I didn't. There's no reason at all to consider the expression "Indian". – Hot Licks Feb 25 '15 at 12:56
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    @HotLicks: I referred loosely to DanBron's comment under the question, but I edited in your correct observation that earlier use of the expression was similar in meaning to the current Indian usage. The expression was indeed not Indian, but it's current usage in the way described by the OP probably is. – oerkelens Feb 25 '15 at 13:00
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    It's true that sitting in this sense is defined in the context of a legislative or a judicial "session," which meaning is carried further to any official session and thereon to any session in general. Single is merely an adjective, "single sitting" not being a set phrase. The phrase is also common in the context of appearing for an examination or a doctor's appointment. – Kris Feb 25 '15 at 13:10
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    "I couldn't put down the new Neal Stephenson novel and read it in a single sitting." – JMD Feb 25 '15 at 17:55
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Single sitting (in InE) is commonly used in context of -single sitting treatment-situations:

  • Hair replacement procedures
  • Root canal Tx
  • Cataract operation
  • etc.

It's probably an adoption from the idiom "at/in one sitting".

at/in one sitting: If you do something at one sitting, you do it during one period of time without stopping. - I read the whole book in one sitting. (TFD)

Some common InE phrases that you may come accross are:

  • Let us discuss about politics
  • What is your good name?
  • Let’s order for a pizza
  • I am not at home, I’m out of station
  • He returned it back to me
  • I am here only
  • etc.
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    Indians have intentionally and unintentionally customized English to better suit their needs. and of course the translations from Hindi to English bring about phrases such as "Good name"..."subh naam" or auspicious name. – ATHENA Feb 25 '15 at 14:16
  • Out of station ~= Out of pocket? – Joe Feb 25 '15 at 21:26
  • What the heck is a "good name"? – DCShannon Feb 25 '15 at 21:43
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  • Amusing it may sound to the natives, single sitting is used to decribe even one night stands.

Indians will often ask, "What is your good name?" which is a somewhat literal translation of "Aapka shubh naam kya hai?"

Shubh means auspicious or good, and it is basically used as a polite way of asking for someone's full name.

Something which Indian English has that is not found in other varieties of English is the use of only (@MystiSinha- I am here only) and itself to emphasize time and place.

It comes from the Hindi word "hee" and produces sentences like "I was in Toledo only/itself".

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