81

In standard US and UK usage, an alphabet is a system or collection of letters, a letter being A written symbol or character representing a speech sound and being a component of an alphabet. [AHD] In Indian English, however, the word alphabet is sometimes used synonymously with letter, which is all that has happened here. A web search turns up ...


64

English is polite by default, it's other languages that are optionally rude. You raised the polite/rude second pronoun example; well English used to have thou in addition to you. Thou was used by superiors to inferiors, or if you wanted to be rude, whereas you was used when respect is given. Over time, upper class people tended to use polite pronouns like ...


50

Regarding "do the needful", Wikipedia has an article on the subject. It indicates that it was more common in English in the past. I don't think it is grammatically wrong; it is just more a matter of idiom in US/UK English. There we would more likely say "do what is necessary" or "do whatever it takes". The same is true with pluck the flowers. It is ...


47

TL;DR: I'd hate for anyone to walk away with the idea that Indians think 'i' is acceptable. You won't find it in any respected Indian publication. You won't find the average Indian writing it down on paper. It's just textspeak and that's why it's common in text and tweets and comments online. Detailed answer: I’m from India. I assure you there’s no such ...


39

English is not intrinsically rude, it's just that certain social assumptions are not built in, as they are in Hindi. Instead, deference is optional. As user21820's answer states, there are various ways of showing deference (to one's elders, if one wishes), such as honorifics. Choice of words means a lot, as does various phrasing choices. For instance, "I'm ...


23

It depends on what it means. In American English, students take an exam, while professors give an exam. This is very normal usage. The metaphor is that the professor provides something, and the students accept it, which is straightforward in any educational context. On the other hand, you didn't provide any examples, so I suppose it's possible that your ...


21

From Wikipedia's Glossary of cricket terms: Doosra a relatively new off spin delivery developed by Saqlain Mushtaq; the finger spin equivalent of the googly, in that it turns the "wrong way". From the Hindi or Urdu for second or other. First coined by Pakistani wicket keeper Moin Khan. Mankad the running-out of a non-striking batsman who ...


21

Technically, one letter could be an alphabet. By the definition you provided, an alphabet is a set of symbols or letters. This set could theoretically contain any number of letters. The Latin alphabet is a single set of 26 letters. The Greek alphabet is a single set of 24 letters. The Arabic alphabet (technically abjad) is a single set of 28 letters. ...


20

Jeega's post has a number of features.  It shows Jeega's awareness of the usual convention.  It hints that Jeega used to follow that convention.  It mentions a reason to defy that convention and follow an alternate.  It alludes to but does not cite a source which would support that reason. There are also, of course, a number of ...


19

The other answers here are generally good and correct analyses of the history of these particular phrases. I just wanted to underline that there isn't anything wrong per se with these phrases; they are just not idiomatic in American and British English. They are not things that native speakers of American and British English would say, so if you say them in ...


19

Most people will have no problem with calling her proprietor. Actually some people will reject the idea that you need a female form of the word anyway. Why would the word proprietor only be applicable to a man, and not simply to a person? So actually, calling her a proprietor is the safer and better option. Don't use an -ess or -ix version. Legally it ...


18

How to understand "losing theirs and blaming it on you" in the first stanza? In particular, what do the pronouns "theirs" and "it" respectively stand for? To "keep your head" means to remain calm, which is sometimes hard to do when the people around you ("about you") are in "panic mode." To remain calm in spite of their panic is therefore a virtue. The ...


18

Indian English is sometimes hard to digest for native speakers. But it is not as difficult as it seems. From this old ELU question and Vishy's Indian English Dictionary July 12, 2006 doubt. /DOWT/. A question asking for clarification. In standard English and American, the noun doubt is uncountable and refers to a lack of complete trust in something. ...


18

Reduplication is used in Indian English to indicate emphasis, distributive meaning, or indefiniteness The sources I found indicate that reduplication of adjectives in Indian English can indicate various qualities: emphasis, distributive meaning, or indefiniteness. This page I found shows that it's used in a distributive manner: (5) Reduplication used ...


17

They are called "scale weights" or just "weights". You have a 1kg weight, a 500g weight, and so on.


17

In UK English, the nearest equivalent is to use two different words, both meaning small Indian "small small" -> UK "tiny little" (to emphasise smallness) or "loads of little" (to emphasise large number) Indian "big big" -> UK "great big" "cold cold" -> UK "freezing cold" "hot hot" -> UK "boiling hot" (for an environment), "scalding hot" (for a liquid) etc.


16

It is a word that has become established in one variety of English (Indian) but is more or less unknown in other dialects of English. That is really all that can be said.


15

The Oxford English Dictionary records casted as being used as the past tense of cast from the Middle English period to the sixteenth century. The latest citation showing its use is dated 1526. If it is making a comeback, I haven’t heard or seen it, but that may be because it is not widespread in contemporary British English. The British National Corpus has ...


15

Google Ngram shows the usage more or less steadily falling from 1810, when it was almost 9 times more common than now. From the shape of the graph, one gets the impression that it was more common still earlier to that. It is a lovely word, easy on the ear. "Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice," is not only in the King James Version, but ...


14

‘Please don't pluck the flowers’ and ‘Please do the needful’ are both grammatical in British Standard English. However, ‘pluck’ usually describes pulling off hair, feathers or fruit, rather than flowers, and British native speakers would normally say ‘Please do whatever is necessary’ instead of ‘Please do the needful’ (although ‘needful’ has been used as a ...


14

It's purely a matter of established idiomatic usage. In standard English the normal injunction is Don't pick the flowers, but that's as much an accident of fate as because the word pick is more suitable in this context. In India a lot of people speak and hear a reasonable amount of English, even though it's not their mother tongue. They sometimes come up ...


14

According to Some Aspects of the History of Modern Hindi "Nahîn" "No", "Not" by L. A. Schwarzschild, the Hindi interjection nahîn (and Marathi nahi, Gujerati nahi(m), etc.): is used as an equivalent of "no" (though it may serve also as a negative adverb), and it represents an enlargement of the old Indo-European negative particile, Sanskrit na. The ...


14

English is just a language and cannot be rude; it is the people who use it who might be rude (intentionally or otherwise). One can use the modal "could": Could you do it? Adding various phrases are also recommended as basic courtesy: Could you please do it? Could you do it, please? To address adults: Sir/Madam, could you please do it? ...


13

I am an America living in India and have observed the Indian English use of "only" for purposes of emphasis. I've collected a few examples of this usage. The ones below require context because they could also mean "only" in the sense of exclusion, as an American or an Englishman would use the term. However they were all used to emphasize. "It's a new ...


13

Repetition of a word in a sentence is right if it makes grammatical sense. An immediate repetition of a word, separated by punctuation, is appropriate for emphatic effect, for example, “I am far, far away from home.”


12

They both imply we start something Initiate: Cause (a process or action) to begin: "initiate discussions". Initialize/Initialise: Set to the value or put in the condition appropriate to the start of an operation. Also if you initiate something, it is your initiative, whereas if you initialise something, you can have been asked to do so. In ...


11

This usage of "revert", as "reply", is heard frequently in Singapore and Malaysia. (I lived in Singapore for 3.5 years). Singapore officially recognizes it as being an incorrect usage of the word. A Singapore government sponsored campaign Speak Good English (goodenglish.org.sg), specifically addresses the word "revert". In my local library there, for a ...


11

As @tchrist noted in a comment, may I know your good name? sounds overly old fashioned to a native English speaker. When you're encountering a stranger, a common way to get someone's name is to provide yours first, especially after conversation has already been initiated. This conversation usually goes something like: Aaron: I don't think I know your ...


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