A couple of years ago, I spent 4 months working in India, which was quite an experience as you can imagine. One of my favourite things was reading the Times of India every day and I still like to dip in and out via the wonderful Web.
One of the most endearing things about India is the use of language, the odd turn of phrase, things that you no longer hear in the UK. It’s almost as if somewhere around the 1940’s and Independence, India fixed its idea of what English is, whereas in the UK, English has continued to evolve. Not always for the better, I might add.
Hence, its not uncommon for news stories where people are waylaid and relieved of valuables, usually by miscreants and often in the wee hours. At work, you’d not be popular if you shifted someones timings meaning they had to drive their two-wheeler in rush hour with all the rash drivers.
Something that still makes me smile are the obituaries, not because people died, that’s sad obviously, but it happens. No, it’s the use of expiry and expired to denote death. Here’s an example…
Now picture yourself in a room with 20 Indian faces hanging on your every word as you train them to take calls about debit cards. Imagine the confusion in the room as you explain they will need to ask for the expiry date on the card.
A hand is raised, “Do you mean the card says when the customer will expire??”
You reply, “Almost right, it’s when the card expires.”
Another hand, “How can a card expire?”
More hands go up and more odd questions are asked. Dumbfounded you turn to your SME, he’s been here longer and should know what they are going on about. He’s laughing and then you remember how eager he was for you to deliver the bit about expiry dates.
* I downloaded this picture several hours ago and only studied it closely as I was preparing this post. This admirable lady, was born on the same day as me. How spooky! I mean really, that’s spooky, I’m a bit freaked out by this coincidence.