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English bloopers: 'Reply fastly!'
Sourav Shah, Nilovna Ghosh
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June 08, 2007

The Internet is a great tool, but is it hurting written English?

Continuing our series on English Bloopers documented by readers, today we look at how technology is mangling the Queen's English! Suddenly, nearly all educated humans are making spelling errors, and wilfully!

Blame this on heavy text messaging, chatting habits and lax Internet English standards. Nilovna Ghosh, 25, a rural development professional from Orissa, sent in this list to remind us that proper spelling still exists:

Hai = HI
d, da, tha = THE
mebbe = MAYBE
coz, cuz, bcos = BECAUSE
4m = FROM
spcl = SPECIAL
stategy = STRATEGY
gudnite = GOODNIGHT
cncl = CANCEL
well come = WELCOME
thx = THANKS

Nilovna has also been compiling bloopers for years. Here are some of her favourites:

1. "Myself Miss Aarti Sinha."
    "She cooked dinner for Tarika, Dipti and myself."
    "Albert, Maria and myself went to the movies."

This one's an epidemic! More and more people academically, officially and professionally have been using the word 'myself' instead of 'my name', 'me' and 'I'. They think it sounds 'cultured'; in reality, it sounds foolish. The above should be:

~"My name is Miss Aarti Sinha."
~"She cooked dinner for Takirka, Dipti and me."
~"Albert, Maria and I went to the movies."

2. "Please go ahead. I am coming back of you."
    "I finished the exam in front of her."

Back and front refer to direction, not length of time. Instead, use:

~ "Please go ahead. I will come after you."
~ "I finished the exam before her."

3. "Reply fastly!"

This one is rampant in chat windows and e-mail inboxes! In fact, there's no such word as 'fastly'.

~ "Reply quickly!" is the correct way of saying it.

4. "There is very much risk in this work."
    "It is very much hot today."

These are sentences sound unnatural. Instead, try:

~ "There is a lot of risk involved in this work."
~ "It is very hot today."

The next one's a classic, and my all-time favourite!

5. "I am like this only." 
    "She is like that only."

The frequent misuse of the word 'only' in Indian English is astonishing! The above should be:

~ "This is the way I am."
~ "That is the way she is."

Sourav Shah, a 25-year-old marketing executive from Pune sent in the following English error, which we come across rather often as well:

1. "I cannot cope up with this hectic schedule." 
    "I was stuck up in traffic."

'Up' should not be attached to verbs like 'cope' and 'stuck', but we Indians do it all the time!

~ "I cannot cope with this hectic schedule."
~ "I was stuck in traffic."


We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing them. Three times a week, we'll provide articles featuring your responses.

If you'd like to share common bloopers you come across when people speak/ write in English, do mail your list of common bloopers, along with their correct alternative 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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