SP Kachru

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Milchar

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WORDly WISE

by S.P. Kachru  

By merely hinting his intent to resign from the council of ministers, a senior minister not just caused a mini tsunami, what he actually provoked was nothing short of outrage. Infact it would be insensitive and in poor taste to speak of a wave of outrage in this connection which may or may not have struck as a flood of letters to various newspapers and mad rush of coverage by various TV channels.

Usually it is simply a question of tact and consideration to prevent a heavy duty faux-pas as cited above. The problem, including the politician’s blunder, is that even though the originator may not have the intention to cause any harm, an expression can easily injure the feelings of an audience or listeners. Once a statement is made, it can no longer be retracted hence the word harms more easily than it heals. Although it is commonly said that Time heals all wounds but we do not know as to how much we shall have to wait to recover from that insensitive derailment. On the other hand, we are witness to aggressive sales campaigns and advertisement blitz for new products and services etc. make an impact like a bomb dropping, is nobody outraged ?

Why do Bomb threats, sex-bombs, bombing attacks and also the successful bomb tests appear together on one and the same title page of a newspaper ? Why do inflation trends develop into forest fires in the economy pages while the prices explode in the advertisement section ? Does it not injure anybody’s feelings when unsuccessful or out of form sports stars suddenly age or have the plague ? I have no intention of either defending the politician or support the parallel pessimism.

Apart from extreme verbal lapses, there is common place neglect and thoughtless crudity - and downright good journalism, poetic licence and verbal sensitivity in day to day life. I would only like to raise awareness to the words, as they can be both, influential and injurious, at the same time. They are deployed, often so inflationally, that they literally lose their value; they are split and recomposed in unrecognizable connections, twisted, often subject to brute force, until such point as they fall from being acceptable fads to the taboo. Why should we disregard the word knowing well that it is surely a mighty instrument, the means by to one another, the way we inform, influence or impress others.

Factfully, words deserve attention, deliberate and scrupulous usage…..esteem for the word, its usage in strict diligence and in incorruptible inner love of truth, are indeed the precondition for the growth of the community spirit and humanity.

Source: Milchar

  

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