Know your English

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jayakris
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Re: Know your English

Post by jayakris » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:55 am

Sin Hombre wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:27 am
Continental Europeans use it (felicitations, felicitaciones) a lot and I can definitely recall using it while living there and not receiving blank stares.
That said, I never knew it was archaic in Anglo-American English. I will try it with some Dutch and Swiss tomorrow and report :D
I think I had used it in the past too. Perhaps I didn't notice that people did not understand. Today, one of them immediately asked, "what was the word you used?" and that is when we started discussing it, and I found nobody who knew of such a word. Of course, it comes up on simple google meaning search. The word exists in the dictionary too. But that may be because it is used in India.

I just did some google search, and almost ALL pages where "felicitate" comes up are Indian pages! Weird. I didn't know that we had a proper archaic English word that exists only in India. It seems in some places people do understand what "felicitations" is (like you say) if you use it, but they themselves never really think of it and use it. And then, "felicitate" as a verb seems to be even less known. In fact, in my meeting, one of my colleagues started talking about how he was able to figure out what it must mean, because of the word "felicity" which is known...

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Re: Know your English

Post by rajitghosh » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:59 am

Also try "sacrosanct" and "pre-pone". Sacrosanct certainly doesn't exist in American, it probably does in English. Pre-pone is pure Hinglish.

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Re: Know your English

Post by jayakris » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:07 am

"Sacrosanct" is very much used and known in the US and elsewhere. People like Hillary Clinton has used it. Google brings up many more pages with it, before you see Indian pages. "Pre-pone" is known to be an Indian word, and people know of it to be so. The complete forgetting of an old English word like "felicitate" in other English-speaking places, and the word's survival in India for no apparent reason that I can figure out, is rather unusual.

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Re: Know your English

Post by Sin Hombre » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:35 am

Yeah, pre-pone is the classical example of an Indian English word.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any similar ones though it is easy to come up with ones like juggernaut (which of course is etymologically Indian) which is used extensively in written Indian English but I have never heard Anglo-Americans use it outside of comics. Matrimonial might be similar though again, I have heard it being used in the Romance languages.

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Re: Know your English

Post by jayakris » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:55 am

I have seen "juggernaut" (coming from Jagannath) used in odd places like baseball news and all that. But this word "felicitate" stumped me today, when I realized how well-known it is in India and unknown it is elsewhere. There is no reason that I can imagine for why it would be like that. It is not a word of Indian origin or anything. Who/what made it popular in India, then? Google research doesn't bring up much. It's a mystery, so far as I can see.

Shakespeare has used the word in King Lear, but as an adjective, and with a different meaning of "made happy, joyful, ecstatic". His line was, "And find I am alone felicitate In your dear highness' love". That adjective meaning is now considered archaic. But that was the original meaning of it, and people started using it as a verb at some point. But it only remains in India now, and would otherwise be considered archaic too, from what I see.

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Re: Know your English

Post by Prashant » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:31 pm

Interesting. I've never thought twice about that word, just assumed it was a somewhat uncommon English word. The related "felicidades" is how you say "congratulations" in Spanish, so that gets used a lot here in Texas.

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Re: Know your English

Post by Sin Hombre » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:11 am

Jay, I got a word for you which is fairly common in India which I have received many blank stares for usage in the US, and that is quizzing as the activity. Actually, I am not sure if it is even a popular activity in schools and universities outside of India and the UK (and apparently Belgium as well). The default in the US is to think of it as trivia in the form of Jeopardy or a "pub quiz".

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Re: Know your English

Post by prasen9 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:43 am

Today in an email to the faculty, I used the term "and we can tick whichever choice we want" while writing naturally. After sending it, I realized that people would possibly not know the term "tick" as a verb and guess from the context :-)

It is possibly archaic. But, the writing-english site has it. felicitate

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Re: Know your English

Post by jayakris » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:44 am

prasen9 wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:43 am
Today in an email to the faculty, I used the term "and we can tick whichever choice we want" while writing naturally. After sending it, I realized that people would possibly not know the term "tick" as a verb and guess from the context :-)
I am surprised you took this long to notice that, though. I think I knew it after the first course I taught in the U.S., back in 1991, as the students in the final exam asked what "tick" was, when I asked to put "tick for YES or NO". It is always a "check" mark in the U.S. I think "tick" is perfectly fine in the UK.
It is possibly archaic. But, the writing-english site has it. felicitate
"Felicitate" as a verb is not yet archaic, in the dictionaries. What I found is that it is not archaic only because it is used in India. It really exists only in India, but it is used A LOT. The word, in its correct original Shakespearean adjective form, is archaic. Its corrupt form as a verb, that started being used in the 17th and 18th century, seems to have gone away elsewhere too, but it survives in India and is thus not considered archaic. Why it did not survive elsewhere is probably more interesting than its survival in India. I find that there really isn't another word to use in its place, with precisely the same meaning of "congratulating in a celebratory way" (by saying words, giving gifts/shawls, etc) for which it is used in India.

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Re: Know your English

Post by jayakris » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:08 am

Sin Hombre wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:11 am
Jay, I got a word for you which is fairly common in India which I have received many blank stares for usage in the US, and that is quizzing as the activity. Actually, I am not sure if it is even a popular activity in schools and universities outside of India and the UK (and apparently Belgium as well). The default in the US is to think of it as trivia in the form of Jeopardy or a "pub quiz".
The word "quiz" is used a lot in the U.S., but the activity of a quizzing as a competition among multiple people, is probably what you mean? You may be right. It is used generally only for asking questions to one person or multiple persons (e.g., in an exam). So, "the teacher is giving a physics quiz today" is perfectly understood. But "my son won the quiz" probably will draw blank stares, I think. They tend to use more descriptive terms like "trivia quiz", "pop quiz" etc., as well.

The verb-noun "quizzing" is certainly not used for any competition, or even for asking exam questions in a quiz form. It is used only for activities like an investigator, news reporter, or a congressional panel questioning somebody.

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Re: Know your English

Post by suresh » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:28 am

PKBasu wrote: I hope the partnership with Rajeev Ram doesn’t prove to be once-off.
Is it "once-off" or "one-off"? I was wondering about this after reading PKB's post in another thread. Turns out that the PKB's usage in common in financial circles ( :-) ) but usually one uses "one-off" for something that happens only once. Merriam-Webster doesn't have a listing for "once-off" but Cambridge has it listed in its US dictionary. So it might be standard usage in American English as well.

one-off in the Merriam Webster Dictionary

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Re: Know your English

Post by prasen9 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:43 am

I was surprised with "sacrosanct". I think it is straight up Latin coming to English (via what if anything I don't know). I have seen it used here.

I have not heard "once-off", but, as you said that may be because I am financially semi-literate.

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Re: Know your English

Post by PKBasu » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:37 am

I could have said "prove to be a one-off partnership", but I chose not to use "a", so I wrote it the way I did. :-)

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Re: Know your English

Post by suresh » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:03 am

PKBasu wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:37 am
I could have said "prove to be a one-off partnership", but I chose not to use "a", so I wrote it the way I did. :-)
:notworthy:

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