"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Tuesday, August 05, 2003 Plain Hinglish: David Gardner writes in The Spectator of a fractured and stately form of English spoken in India:
Welcome to the wonderful world of Hinglish, a Hindu-inspired dialect that pulsates with energy, invention and humour — not all of it intended. Hinglish is full of cricket terminology and army metaphors, with echoes of P.G. Wodehouse and Dickens. It contains clunky puns and impeccably logical neologisms. In short, it is a delight.
When, for instance, I receive routine requests for ‘intimation 48 hours in advance’ for flight or hotel bookings, I feel not irritated but grateful — my planning skills allow for little more. And when the young lady who runs my local restaurant smiles winningly and says, ‘We like to pander you’ (meaning, I assume, ‘pamper’) a mediocre lunch starts to taste that little bit better.
Like so many good gags, ‘Official intimation’ pops up in P.G. Wodehouse (Heavy Weather, chapter ten), whose books are to be found on every bookshelf of every bookshop in India. It is a safe bet that Wodehouse is the inspiration for many standard Hinglish-isms, viz a ‘quantum’ (never a mere amount), ‘sans’ (as in, he went out ‘sans’ his coat), or, my favourite, ‘for the nonce’. An Indian acquaintance once playfully suggested that Wodehouse has a place in the elastic pantheon of Hindu gods.