September 17, 2007

England is dying, but the Anglosphere is now "England"

The rise of Indian English - Telegraph :

It has taken decades of struggle, but more than half a century after the British departed from India, standard English has finally followed.

Young and educated Indians regard the desire to speak English as it is spoken in England as a silly hang-up from a bygone era. Homegrown idiosyncrasies have worked their way into the mainstream to such an extent that only fanatical purists question their usage.

Now Penguin, the quintessentially British publishing house, has put the nearest thing to an official imprimatur on the result by producing a collection of some of the most colourful phrases in use - in effect a dictionary of what might be called "Indlish".

Its title, Entry From Backside Only, refers to a phrase commonly used on signposts to indicate the rear entrance of a building. Binoo John, the author, said young Indians had embraced the variant of the language as a charming offspring of the mingling of English and Hindi, rather than an embarrassing mongrel.

"Economic prosperity has changed attitudes towards Indian English," said Mr John. "Having jobs and incomes, and being noticed by the rest of the world, have made Indians confident - and the same confidence has attached itself to their English."...

Well, for sure. [I've had people hear me say "for sure" and say, "you must come from Southern California!"] Or maybe speaking English changes the brain and leads to attitudes of moderation and good sense, leading thence to prosperity.

Posted by John Weidner at September 17, 2007 9:09 AM
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