Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Strange Words/English that found their way into Nagaland's newspapers. And Editors didn't care

Readers from Nagaland and Northeast India may be familiar with my obsession with 'preserving' funny English – primarily the colorful, weird and funny terms, phrases and expressions some Naga persons use. Raja Mircha to injury: editors publish them without a second thought. 

We don't even do first thought anyway.

Here are some sufficiently potty things most Naga citizens create, aside from unemployment and pottery. The atrocities listed here are real instances scoured exclusively from press releases. I have a private "funny newspaper reading" collection.  

Do not ask me what the following polio-stricken cases mean.

"False Propaganda" 

Truthfully, I've yet to come across truthful propaganda. Have you?

"Honorable, acceptable and beneficial" 

That smorgasbord is the Naga people's most brutal contribution to the integrity of English. What is honorable but still manages to be unacceptable, or detrimental? Conversely, what is dishonorable, but succeeds in being acceptable and beneficial to anyone? Such synonymic (if there was such a word) excesses are still integral to our much-loved orgies.

"General Public"

My favorite. We Nagas (including most of the State's Journalists) love declaring “general public” this and "general public" that, all the time to describe the greater society.

If there was anything in existence as "general public" in the first place, I assume every individual was a public unto himself -- we'd all be Multiple Personality Disorder patients. Do inform our students' unions, “educated” college leaders, and the government and the underground groups, that there is no “general public.” Just public. ‘Public’ in itself means ‘general’ or 'all the people.' Soob manu.

"Recensus" 

A creative village council member from Zunheboto district came up with this word circa 2008. The poor man was merely suggesting a review of the census data for his district. He never meant to modernize (or cross-breed) the word.

"Expeditely" 

I believe the NGOs meant to say ‘joldi joldi koribi ho.’ (For foreign visitors reading this article, "expeditely" is a word 'we' use to mean something similar to "C'mon dude! Go! Go! Go!"
 
"Overaged" 

What the Nagaland government calls wrinkle-friendly job candidates. Or what the state's learned students' leaders call you when you are beyond 30 years of age.

"Fastly" 

You already know what it means. The poor man who sent the holweler in a press release only wanted to emphasize urgency. The specimen was from a Mokokchung Village Development Board secretary, if I recall correctly.

"Presentee"

Hazard a guess. I'm assuming that a “presentee” is someone who holds out something to you, as opposed to 'presenter'. Or is it the receiver? I'm a bit confusee now... 

"Cosonscious" 

I believe the computer was unconscious when the author was typing in the word ‘Consensus.’ You are right, the word looks somewhat dazed.
Rudiperlous – The HP printer was drunken when the word was being led to the guillotine. I believe that the Naga organization responsible for inventing 'Rudiperlous' actually meant to say 'Ridiculous’. Most organizations' PRs are rudiperlous, sorry, ridiculous, anyway.

"Former ex-MLA" (or "former ex-minister"

This politically incorrect obscenity was from somewhere Wokha district I think. You get exceptionally vigorous ones from us Kyong tribesmen, you know. I think the term refers to politicians that have attained a second tenure of unemployment after being toppled from power.    

"Befoxing the public" 

I don’t know if the government of Nagaland is…er...bewolfing the public but I believe the Press Release writer raked up the howler while searching for the phrase 'cheating the public' or 'hoodwinking the public' to convey the idea of deceit.

"Incompromisical" 

Honestly, sincerely and admittedly I don’t know what the creative author of that word thought it meant. Honest.

"Redressal" 

You'll agree that the term "redressal" definitely looks all dressed up for the carnival. The exact and correct term is ‘redress.’ There are no derivatives to it.

"Non-transparency / Untransparent"

The ‘educated unemployed’ organizations of Nagaland have monopolized the specimen. So have the NSF, Naga Hoho, ENPO and their like. The correct 'word is 'Nontransparent'.
  
"Encadrement / Encadred" 

Tell your dear daddies and uncles and aunties working in the state government services that the exact word they are looking for is ‘commissioned.’ ‘Encadrement’ is a French term to mean ‘Supervise’ or ‘frame’ and has no English connotative usage other than ‘commission.’ By meaning, 'commission' is connotative with 'appoint'.
 
"Press Rewind" 

It was given as the description to the subject of a press release we received from a Naga tribal union (don't ask me which tribe. We'd start a tribal war.). Let us simply assume that the polio-stricken anomaly is an antonym for 'Press Forward'!

"Conscentizing /Concentinzing" 

The one word used regularly by the Naga Mothers' Association,  women's commission and women ‘hoho’ leaders.  The word they are looking for is “Conscientious.” Yet again, “Conscientization” itself has no formal projection (even entry) in the English glossary and is used simply as a slangy term to illustrate the semantic weight of ‘Critical Consciousness.’ I believe the exact word our organizations should be using is ‘critical consciousness’ or ‘awareness.’

"Unauthorisedly" 
The word is self-explanatory.
 
"Non-biased" 

Well, I might as well go find myself a non-wrong word, what do you say?

"Safetiness" 

Such words are the result of dangerous bostiness.
Note for foreign readers: 'Bostiness' is a Nagaland slang; the English equivalent is 'boorish'. Translation: Specimens such as "safetiness" are a result of dangerous villageness.  

"Un-satisfaction" 

If you …er… un-want to go to the dance party, just say you are dis-go!

"Uncivilized rape / Uncivilized killing" 

I shudder at the thought of civilized rape spreading in Nagaland. Dear ladies, watch out for penises that wear tuxedos!

There are many more to come and I'll be listing them out soon. If you search on Google any of the funny English words listed here, you'll notice that all the results the search throws up, are from either Nagaland (mostly) or mainland India (a few)!

Example: Google search the word "Rudiperlous" - only one result. That too, would from my September 2011 newspaper column in the English daily, The Morung Express, India. We are a colorful lot.

(This article was originally published in the author's column 'United Colors of Nagaland', The Morung Express, 29th September, 2011)

©2012 Al Ngullie ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This article contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

5 comments:

  1. Hahahahahaha Entertaining piece! We use "general public" all the time. Guess that makes an individual a sort of 'single one' or something :p

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  2. Another hilarious piece, Al! My The whole grammatical and semantic error issue is not only in Nagaland but. Guys like the TOI and the Telegraph also print the same stuff. Man, you think these guys actually even have copyeditors? They are biggie media organizations but seems that sort of keep copyediting out of the conversation.

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  3. Like, seriously? That's got to be a whole lot of schmucks going on in that in your country. No offense, but those things, if they were even English, are obscene! Funny that I tried the CNN's 'Apparently that Matters' and it was nonsensical. More hardcore, Al!

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  4. Sure looks like Nagaland is booming too, Al. I read somewhere that you are THE pioneer of funny gab and "sarcasm" in your region. That's major bargain, I'm proud of you. Give the credit to the colonists for the infamous twerks Indian media keeps doing.

    Vernacular media are probably the worst cooking pots when taking on English. You couldn't actually feel relevant unless you retrace your education when reading the nonsense these local prints invent. That's the problem here.

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  5. Excuse my French --- but WTFF were those, Al? Third-world country syndrome or just sorry English because editors were running money, not newspapers. But yeah, that's seriously hilarious!! :))

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