Friday, December 11, 2009

Cookiejh,Jee tv,and Pure Vehhjjjjj..Run!The pronunciation monsters are back in town!

As a child who grew up in a very North Indian environment, I, like many others of our generation were exposed to a lot of butchering of our names.Thus, you have 'Amit' being pronounced as 'Amat', Kapil would become 'kapal' (pronounced like couple) and 'nikhil' would become 'nikhal'. However, this trend was more or less limited to our grandparents, most of whom had migrated after Partition. The reason for this became apparent to me much later on, while I was learning Urdu.You see,in Urdu(or the Nastaliq script,to be precise), there is a general under-emphasis on vowel sounds, especially the short ones. Normally,in everyday writing, people omit the diacritical marks for 'i' or 'u'. One generally has to guess where the 'i's' and the 'u's' are. Now since my grandparents grew up learning Urdu as the primary language for correspondence, it must have begun to subconsciously alter their pronunciations.

Coming back to the present generation, one can make a similar observation about people who pronounce 'z' as 'j'.I find it quite irritating when people say 'cookiej', 'jee tv'', and 'singh ij king'. This habit can be clearly attributed to the shortcomings in the devanagari script. Since the devanagari script doesn't have a proper alphabet for 'z', most people use the 'j' alphabet for that. Although, a 'dot' below the 'j' is used to denote the 'z' sound,it is normally forgotten and thus you have an entire generation of people who say 'hujoor,jee tv pe jakhmi film aa rahi hai' (mom,if you are reading,get the hint).

So as one can see,a script has a significant influence on the pronunciation.This is more true for Indic/Perso Arabic scripts rather than Roman ones.Since English script tends to be uniform(atleast as far as my observations go),one finds a lesser impact of it's script on the pronunciation.


Oh since we are on this topic, Pune deserves a special mention as far as linguistic genocide is concerned.From Deewhine Raid Rojhejh(Divine Red Roses) to the Pure Vehhhhhjjj(Pure Veg) signboards, Pune is the official burial ground of refined speech in the country.And talking about signboards there was this place 'Anu's beauty parlour' near my house.Remove the apostrophe from the first word.Anu should have thought through.


Harshvardhan Pande said...

Amazing observation dude... seriously, bang on target. One wuda never thought of it, but just after reading it, one has to agree... good stuff!

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these Devanagari books?

Sanjeev Gadgil said...

hehe,,!!! vary vary naaice!!! I want to make frandships with you rit away..!!!

Stuti_dPrayer4Happiness said...

cooll one..u write well..infact quite impressing

Shrey said...

dude. bengalis! they are the best when it comes to pronunciation? :)

Shrey said...
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