15 March 2013

Indianism

Indianism is a term exclusive to Indian English. I could list few terms that we usually use though we should not be using as per Standard English.

Do the needful

Do the needful is very old-fashioned English, It went out of style decades ago, about the time the British left. This term is outdated all over the world except in India.

Examples:

I have done the needful. – Incorrect
I have done what is necessary or needed. – Correct

Please do the needful. - Incorrect
Please do what is necessary or needed. - Correct

Please do the needful to attend the mentioned training. – Incorrect
Please do what is necessary to attend the meeting. - Correct

My computer's broken. Please do the needful. - Incorrect
My computer is broken. Please look into this. - Correct

I have sent you an email. Read it and do the needful. – Incorrect
I have sent you an email. Read the email and do what is necessary. – Correct

I am very hungry. Please do the needful. - Incorrect
I am very hungry. Please make me a sandwich. – Correct

Kindly revert

In Standard English, Revert means to return to a former state.

Examples:

Kindly revert back to me. - Incorrect
Please reply to me. – Correct

Kindly revert back for any clarification. - Incorrect
Please contact us should you need assistance to proceed from here. – Correct
Please feel free to call us for clarifications. – Correct

Please revert at the earliest. - Incorrect
Please reply at the earliest. – Correct

Reply back

The use of reply back is wrong because it contains a redundancy. The word reply means to say something back. The meaning of the word back is already contained in reply, so there is no need to use them together.

Examples:

Please reply back as soon as possible. - Incorrect
Please reply as soon as possible. – Correct

I’ll reply back to the email. - Incorrect
I will reply to the email. – Correct

Prepone

Prepone is one of a few words that we Indians have created for our own convenience. Apparently, this phrase has become so popular that it’s even been added to a few dictionaries!

Examples:

I have preponed the meeting. - Incorrect
I have rescheduled the meeting to . – Correct

Please do XYZ without fail

Here, Please is a request and without fail is an order.

Examples:

Kindly attend the meeting without fail. – Incorrect
Kindly attend the meeting. Please do not fail me in this. – Correct

Please intimate me

To intimate is a rare verb meaning to inform someone privately.

Examples:

Please intimate me. - Incorrect
Please inform me. – Correct

Do one thing

Do one thing is the direct translation of Ek kaam karo and this usage is incorrect. One thing can be ten things, but it is still one thing.

Examples:

Scenario: My computer keeps getting hung.

Indian Usage: Do one thing. Clear your history. Delete your cookies. Defrag your hard drive. Run a virus check. Restart your computer.

Correct Usage: Do the following:
Clear your history.
Delete your cookies.
Defrag your hard drive.
Run a virus check.
Restart your computer.

Do one thing. Take a left turn there. - Incorrect
You can take a left turn there. – Correct

Let’s do one thing, let’s order both veg and non-veg. - Incorrect
Let’s order Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian. – Correct

Do one thing, set the headline in Times New Roman. - Incorrect
You can set the headline in Times New Roman. – Correct

You have carpal tunnel? Do one thing, adjust your chair higher, put something underneath your feet, and put the keyboard on your lap. - Incorrect
You have carpal tunnel? Adjust your chair higher, put something underneath your feet, and put the keyboard on your lap. – Correct

Note: Carpal tunnel means cramp.

Out of Station

Out of Station is widely used in India which is incorrect.

Examples:

If you lose your card or it stops working and you happen to be out of station, then you cannot apply for a new card. - Incorrect
If you lose your card or it stops working and you happen to be out of town, then you cannot apply for a new card. – Correct

He is out of station. - Incorrect
He is out of town. – Correct

Discuss about

The word discuss means to talk about. There is no need to insert the word about after discuss.

Examples:

What shall we discuss about today? - Incorrect
What shall we discuss today? – Correct

Let’s discuss about the issues. - Incorrect
Let’s discuss the issues. – Correct

Order for

When you order something, you order it, you do not order for it.

Examples:

Ordering for Pizza. - Incorrect
Ordering Pizza. – Correct

I’ll order for Pizza. - Incorrect
I’ll order Pizza. – Correct

How to order for Pizza? - Incorrect
How to order Pizza. – Correct

Can be able to

Both can and able to hold the same meaning.

Examples:

I can be able to do it. - Incorrect
I will be able to do it. – Correct
I can do it. – Correct

You can be able to understand. - Incorrect
You will be able to understand. – Correct
You can understand. – Correct

I can be able to communicate in English with people all over the world. - Incorrect
I am able to communicate in English with people all over the world. – Correct
I will be able to communicate in English with people all over the world. – Correct

19 comments:

  1. Let's discuss the issue is wrong... Let us discuss the issue is correct

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pravallika,

      Let’s is the English cohortative word, meaning “let us” in an exhortation of the group including the speaker to do something.
      So, in the context of the sentence, Let's is correct

      Delete
    2. Thanks. Agree, Let's in the above scenario is right.

      Delete
  2. "If you loose your card or it stops working..."

    Shouldn't it be "lose"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for pointing it, Sajukrishan. It was a typo, I have corrected.

      Delete
  3. Good and informative article....
    http://smarththukral.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  4. As an American, the use of "the same" in Indian English sounds outdatedly formal to me.

    Indian English: Please send the document so that the committee can review the same.
    American English: Please send the document so that the committee can review it.

    Also, "Let's discuss the issues." is fine in all but the most formal situations. "Let us" is fine in all but very informal situations. There's a wide area where either might be used.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Perfect explanation for each indianism.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can we use like this :" Kindly revert in case of any queries?"

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Good explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very helpful thanks sims!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Is Go ahead an Indianism as well...?

    ReplyDelete