TODAY -

Redefining the lingo

Free Thinker *



Now-a-days 'street-dogs' are called 'community-dogs' courtesy Madam Maneka Gandhi. Eunuch becomes 'transgender' because of well-educated activists. Servant is now termed as 'helper'. Handicaps are respectfully referred to as 'differently-abled'. House–wives are termed as 'home-makers'. Cow is 'mother' to the believers. Daughter is Laxmi (goddess). Son is a nuisance.

Jargons are kicking, living, changing and dynamic. Refining or redesigning our expressions is an ongoing and unending process; it holds good for every language including English.

Whether we like it or not, English is the most widely distorted and manipulated language in the world. Mandarin & Hindi speakers may envy; but it is a fact and we cannot simply ignore it. Like any other languages modification or alteration of English is taking place everywhere, even in Hindustan and Kangleipak.

We keep changing our social shoptalk; tribals become hills-men or forest dwellers. Wife is calling her husband 'Papa'. Then husband is addressing his wife 'mummy'. These are new jives and tweets. Husband calling wife 'mummy' is more than justifiable; because husbands behave like kids.

Swine is pork. Buffalo meat is now known into 'buff'. Cow meat was beef but now in India it becomes the 'forbidden grub'. Lamb is the meat of young sheep. Mutton is the meat of an adult sheep or goat. Hen/Cock meat is chicken. I am in search of words which denote dog-meat or rat- meat. My quest is on for such jeopardizing jargons.

Punks became politicians; thieves converted into chiefs; looters grew-up as leaders; robbers turned to robin-hoods; kidnappers reign as kings; extortionists remained masters; pickpockets entered into police ; bandits promoted as bureaucrats; blackmarketeers brought up as bankers; communists rejoiced as contractors. This para must be read with a pinch of salt. These are not exactly equivalents. But certainly these words carry somewhat similar connotations.

Land is one of the oldest words in English dictionary or vocabulary. It means the surface of the earth which is no sea. Today, lot, plot, ground, field, space, site etc., mean an area of land that is used or intended for a particular purpose.

In the beginning the term 'land' was used to mean primarily a forest land or an agricultural land. In modern times lot is a piece of land that is used for a particular purpose i.e., parking lot.

Ground is again an area of open land used for a particular purpose or activity i.e., football ground. Plot is a tiny piece of land used for a specific purpose i.e., a plot of land to build a house or simply a vegetable plot.

Field is basically land used for agricultural or farming purposes. Space is a large area of land that has no buildings on it. For instance Manipur- hill-range has plenty of open space.

In course of time, new words and expressions are also coined which are linked with land. Landfill is an area where large amount of waste material are dumped or buried.

Land-lady or landlord stands for a person from whom you rent a room, house, an office, agricultural land etc. Land reform refers to the law or principle of dividing land into smaller pieces so that more and more people can own some; that is what we need in the hills.

Land- registry is a government office that maintains a record of areas of land and who owns them; that is what hill people need before their land are garbed by the 'greater lebensraum people'.

Politicians are 'patriots', you may not agree with this synonym but what to do, they want to be recognized as such. Politician can be a plunderer too. It is just like the contextual usage of the word 'smell'; sometimes it is aroma or fragrance and on other occasions it is odour or reek. Mind you, all politicians are not thugs or robbers just as all people are not tax-evaders and pickpockets.

Wife is called 'better-half'. That means husband is the 'worse-half'. Female is fair-sex; then whether male is ugly-sex.

Humans were a homosapiens and now earthling that's okay and acceptable. Why children are called 'offsprings' not 'offensives'? House–wives are 'home-makers', it's fine. But, what about house-husbands! Will you call them 'home-breakers'? Wife becomes 'honey'. Sometimes Husband is also converted into 'honey' when he is about to be fleeced.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on February 09, 2018.


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