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English errors: 'Myself Sunil Kumar'
Bhaskar Barua, Nashaat Quadri, Aparna, A Matin,
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August 06, 2007

For most of us, English is still a challenge. With all its irregularities, exceptions and rules, English is a very difficult language to master.

With that in mind, presents our English Bloopers series. Here, we publish written and spoken mistakes spotted and sent to us by observant Get Ahead readers. It's a great way to review the basics, clarify a few issues and share a laugh or two! 

So, stop by each Monday, Wednesday and Friday for another fresh batch of English Bloopers.

Bhaskar Barua
, 36 from Kolkata, sent the following bloopers: 

Wrong: Myself Sunil Kumar
Correct: I am Sunil Kumar

Many people believe 'myself' makes the statement formal; it's actually incorrect in this context.

Wrong: You will surely get more better.
Correct: You will surely get better.

English has a few adjectives whose comparative and superlative forms are irregular. The adjective 'good', turns into 'better' in the comparative and 'best' in the superlative. The word 'more' should not be included.

Wrong: I will return back.
Correct: I will return.

If you will 'return' to something, it means you will 'come back' to it. Therefore, the back is not needed.

Wrong: I will talk to the principle of this college.
Correct: I will talk to the principal of this college.

The words 'principle' and 'principal' are often confused. 'Every principal should have principles' is an easy way to remember the difference.

Nashaat Quadri, 34 from Dubai, sent the following letter:

At present, I am working with Mashreq Bank, for their direct banking division based at Dubai HO. I have observed that most of the populace here is from the Indian subcontinent followed by a sizeable chunk from gulf, phillipines and the UK.

Here are some funny situations.

Indians not used to fluent English often say 'the thing is that' as a filler (for baat yeh hai in Hindi).

I hear clientage used in place of clientele.

I've heard the following:

I am holding holding holding for a long time.
I am busy busy busy.
Your bank always cutting cutting cutting.
Are you having an account? Are you having a password?
You want to order with me for a pizza, we will be dividing the money.

Aparna, an architect in the UK, sent another amusing story:

This one thing was so confusing, I just had to share it.

Looking into construction quality before signing them off to a client is common. Sometimes there are flaws that need to be redone and one of my colleagues wrote this:

Comment: 'The whole wall needs to be fixed' in place of 'The hole in the wall needs to be fixed'. It took the contractors by surprise that an entire wall needed to be fixed not to mention confusion on our part that something so huge was missed by us till the very end.

And this is in England [Images]!

A Matin, a 50 year old executive from Mumbai, rounds out today's bloopers with his letter:

A lot of goofups in English are born out of long years of hearing the wrong words from teachers, elders and other peer groups, without anyone correcting them.

Some common sentences:

~ I told you na ...

What's the word 'na' doing in an English sentence? It's just a Hindi apppendage. It should be, 'Didn't I tell you?'

~ Here comes the black man -- it's a direct translation of the persons colour.

It's not demeaning, just a direct translation. A better way to say it would be, 'Here comes the dark man.'

~ Nothing is more irritating than the mixed English Mumbaiya sentences.

One jhaap under the kanpatti (tight slap under his ear).

Give him some kharcha paani (some roughing up).

~ Some common pronounciations according to Indian regional influence:

He is an H-onest man, H is not silent in South India.

He drived (dived) and saved a goal (Bengali).

Have you made your POROGRRAAM? It should be 'programmes'. (North India)

MUNCIPAALTY -- common Maharashtran  pronounciation.


MORE English bloopers

If you'd like to share common bloopers you come across when people speak/ write in English, do mail your list, along with their correct alternatives to -- we'll highlight them right here as a helpful guide to those trying to improve their English. Also, make sure you include your FULL NAME, AGE, OCCUPATION and the CITY you are based in.

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