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Rediff.com  » Getahead » 'Sleep is coming' and other Indianisms

'Sleep is coming' and other Indianisms

April 07, 2017 09:49 IST

Indians, Anita Aikara points out, often twist the English language.
Some phrases she suggests you stop using right now!

Boys on a bike

Original photograph: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

1. Cooling glasses

Most people in India still refer to sunglasses as 'cooling glasses' and we don't know why on Earth would they do that!

Is it because they think it cools their eyes?

Or maybe because it makes them look cool!

Whatever the reason is, it's time you stopped using it.

Say 'sunglasses' or 'shades' yaar. That's way, way, cooler.

2. 'My father is in service'

We can't believe the number of times we hear people say that.

After we cringed, we recommended it is better to say: 'My father works at a private/public firm.'

3. 'Sleep is coming'

Yes! we get it! You're sleepy and you can't think straight.

But it ain't acceptable to keep saying this over and over again, every time you want to go to bed.

Just say: You're sleepy.

4. Order for

We'll tell you what's wrong with saying 'order for'.

To order means to 'call for' something. So saying 'order for' is wrong because of the redundancy of the word 'for'.

If you end up shopping online, don't go around saying you ordered for clothes online.

What you have done is, well, just ordered online. Nothing more :)

5. Ring him/her

Used commonly when people want to call someone on the telephone.

Raise your hand if you keep telling people you will 'ring them tonight.'

Where would you want to ring them? And how exactly would you want to ring them?

You get the drift, don't you?

Your friend is not a bell that you can ring her/him.

Instead, say: You will call her/him.

6. 'What's the programme?'

No! They are not talking about a computer programme.

They just want to know what the plan is!

A confusing way to ask family/friends what they plan on doing, right?

Just say: What's the plan?

7. Stand on her/his head

This is the best example of a thoughtless translation from Hindi -- mere sir pe mat khade raho!

Used when people want you to stop annoying or irritating them.

While it is fine to use the phrase in Hindi, translating it literally into English makes it sound as though you are ready for some yoga session.

Why not say: Don't annoy/bug/irritate me!

8. He got a good firing

Yes he did and you'll be fired too, the next time you use this phrase.

When you want to say that someone got yelled at or was reprimanded, why use the word 'firing'?

And don't forget to share other such English phrases Indians mangle in the message board below....

Boys on a bike

Anita Aikara / Rediff.com