'Eat my head': 10 more classic Indianisms

'Eat my head': 10 more classic Indianisms

Readers contribute to a continuing compilation of grammatically insane, or just plain odd, phrases in common Indian English
"Myself Raju and this is my missus, Kavita. She really eats my brains sometimes. Especially when I don't take rest."

To June’s article on classic Indianisms you could add dozens more hilarious -- or extremely irritating -- common grammatical mistakes that flavor the way we communicate in both spoken and written English in India.

The last time I wrote something like this I was accused of writing a "BURGEIOUS article" (sic), and being as funny as a "Germen funeral" (sic). Whatever those are. (*Sigh* I love comments.)

But hear ye, hear ye, all ye genuine geniuses. The word is grammar, not "grammer."

This time, I’ve featured 10 Indianisms contributed by readers.

Comments welcome. But please, remember to use spell check. And proceed with care.

1. Only

"He kicked the ball like that only."

Like there was any doubt about the way he did it.

"I’m here only."

As opposed to just being "here"?

"Only" is the least lonely and most overused word in Indian English.

2. Myself …

“Myself … [Followed by your name].”

If you want to say your name, just say "my name is …".

Unless you’re looking to fail a job interview.

3. Updation

"We’re awaiting updation by our manager." [via svark]

Right. You’re an android. And your manager always winds you up first thing in the morning.

Why not simply: "We’re waiting to be updated by our manager?"

Still, "updation" does have a nice ring to it. Like "tiffin."

I guess I can let this one pass (see, I do discriminate).

4. Basically and actually

This might be an Americanism, and perhaps a Britishism too, but it’s funny when we overuse "basically" and "actually" to emphasize what we mean.

"Basically, we import toothpicks."

"Actually, you know, I’m not sure what we export."

It's like having your head slammed against a wall. Try to stop the habit. For the sake of my head.

5. Taking things

"I will call you back later as I am taking my lunch right now."

Taking it where? To the pool for a swim? [via Shak]

Just like "take rest." [via Shakthi Girish]

Really. "Take rest." Instead of just "rest." Why?

It seems that we just love to take things. Where do we put them?

6. Would be

"I would be coming for the meeting in Malad." [via superstar]

“Would you also care to purchase a copy of "English Grammar for Dummies" on your way?”

It should be "will be", not "would be." 

No reason to switch the two, even to sound polite.

7.  Putting this and that

"Put on the switch", "Put this yellow dress." [via Umamaheswari Venkatesh]

We just love using the word "put." It’s a great so-called filler verb to shorten sentences.

"Switch on/turn on the light" or "wear/put on this yellow dress” are all correct.

No idea how "put" came into the picture. Then again, we also have people who exclude that word completely.

“Off the lights.” Doh!

8. Danced on

"We danced on this song at the wedding reception." [via Ranjit]

Yup. "Danced on." Not "danced to." But "danced on."

What is the world coming to? Those wedding guests were tripping for sure if they thought they were dancing "on" a song.

Come to think of it, I’d like to have been at that reception.

9. Don’t eat my brains

One of those colloquialisms we love to use in times of irritation.

"Eat my head" is another variation.

While your dietary choices are your own, I would like to point out that Mumbai has some excellent goat brain on offer, should you decide not to take up the challenge above.

More on CNNGo: 40 Mumbai foods we can't live without

10. Indian-English SMS speak

“c if u cud mk it psible fr tmrw itz gna b osm party ... i nw u bzy wd shoots nly bt gv a try na .... cheerrzzz yaa ...” [via KC]

I save the best for last. This headache inducing cellular shorthand is a worldwide problem, imported from the decadent-capitalist-pig-West onto our shores.

People who talk like this are the future of the country. Think about that. And shudder.

Sigh. Are we done already? There are so many more. Till next time …

Daniel D'Mello currently lives and works in Mumbai, where he enjoys reading, writing, planning trips, taking photos, attending gigs, catching up on films and TV and taking a keen interest in animal behavior.

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