Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Grammar no matter



Who made the grammar?  Was it the Pundit who had a vested interest in the days of the caste system?  Wasn’t it the aristocrat who ensured that there must be a way of controlling the people?

Who made the grammar of behaviour?  Was it the Vedas, the Bible, the Quran? 

Or was it the 5 star hotel, when you made enough money to visit that?

Who made the grammar of economics?  Was it the zamindari system?  The caste system?  The Western way of invasions?  Or more recently the Ambanis with their own ways of invading and the Modis with their politics?

Who taught you to speak your language?  Did any grammar do it?

Did you learn to speak your mother tongue by leaning any grammar?

Who made the grammar of love?  Kamasutra?  Dotted condoms?  Or revolutions in universities like JNU?

Who made the grammar of education?  CCE?  IIT?  Entrance tests?  Or the coaching centres in Kota?

I’m looking for answers.

I consider myself fortunate that I can still afford to look for answers.  The fact is that I don’t set store by grammar.  Though I am a language teacher.


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers





21 comments:

  1. Grammar, sir? That's an interesting question alright? But why is your question just limited to Indian grammar per se?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all, Brendan. Who made the first dictionary in Malyalam? A German?

      Delete
  2. And I most of the times commit grammatical errors (sometimes due to lack of knowledge and mostly due to haste), still I blog. :p :D
    This post reminds me of the Bollywood song 'Sadda haque'.... "tumlogo ki iss duniya mein, har kadam par insaan galat". I don't know who has set these bloody rules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go beyond rules, Namrata. All the best. You make your destiny.

      Delete
  3. Simply thought provoking!... "Grammar no matter" ... indeed!. and to top that, "I’m looking for answers" ... that makes two of us ... brilliant

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know that you're in the same boat :)

      Delete
  4. Unfortunately, I'm bit stringent when it comes to grammar...for the simple reason being, incorrect grammar fails to express the exact idea that you want to. With your loved ones, silence is enough to communicate but with others, is it? If I mean to say something and the other person understands something else due to my incorrect grammar, what's the point of that communication? I'd rather shut up and keep doing what I was doing than waste my time on useless communication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, Pankti, I'm not advocating compromise on clarity. There can be no meaningful communication without some agreement on the manner of communication. But language is not static, it keeps changing. See how far we have come from Shakespeare's English, for example. See how the florid style of the 19th century essayists became outdated and look at the simple narratives which are popular today... Well, see how grammar rules are broken mercilessly by today's novelists and even journos!

      Delete
    2. Tomichan, that's another matter. Using current lingos and slangs is not about grammar. It's more about cultural writing. However, when we say grammar is not important, today's "supposed" writers who abuse language day in and day out get legitimate reason to do so.

      Delete
    3. Pankti, I'm sure you understand that the post is not merely about linguistic grammar. I took that as a starting point. The post is about rules in general, as I explained below in another response. But even in language use, my view is valid, but at a level that transcends the mundane...

      The other day, a cousin of mine who is writing a family history asked me jokingly (a little pointedly too) whether he could present me as "an icon for all the mad people in the world". Now you understand me how people who know me better see me :)

      Delete
  5. The irony in the last sentence took the cake. I like all your questions . Should think of my own answers to them too. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frankly, Sakshi, the post is not just about linguistic grammar; it's about the rules anywhere. And who makes those rules, for whose benefits?

      Delete
  6. Sometimes we need to break this static rules....otherwise life would lose its colour...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, no creativity if rules are followed!

      Delete
  7. Hi Tomichan,
    My thoughts tell me that without a set of rules, how one would interpret what others are trying to communicate. To me this is all about bringing a consistency in the ways and means of expression and interpretation. And this do evolve. See the lingo used for tweets and other kind of mobile messaging compared to Queen's English.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jayanta, for your valued comment. I'm sure you understand that the post is really not about linguistic grammar. It is a subversive post about rules in general. Who makes the rules? Whether it be in the society, religion, school, workplace or anywhere? What are their motives? Isn't there a power game at play? That's the real question. The tweets and SMSes are really subversive.

      Delete
  8. True. 'The T.S. Eliot Defence' - "Let us go then, you and I".... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... through the half-deserted alleys... I'm doing it already, friend.

      Delete
  9. Thank you Tomichan for voting my blog 'Dances of India' I am highly honored to habe an English teacher recognising my writing. Well , as for grammar, I am glad to hear your views as my daughter, an executive editor of a reputed Science journal thinks my writing grammatically atrocious ; Not that it bothers me much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A simple question: what is more valuable - a grammatically precise and stylish piece of writing which has no depth OR a simple pieces which has many errors but is profound?

      Science may not understand the difference easily!

      Delete

The group is always right

While having a frugal breakfast of dosa with chutney, I watched my wife’s face.   Pain was writ large on it.   Two days of struggle ...