Five years from now, you will be the same person except for the books you read, tapes you listen to songs you like etc etc. Going by the trend I should have transformed myself at least 4 times already. Frankly, I don’t feel like I have changed at all. Probably, a person who has sees me after a long time would be a better judge of that. If anything has influenced me change over the years, particularly last 3 to 4, it would be me getting addicted to Friends and Seinfeld or me listening to music till wee hours of morning on Saturdays and Sundays.
What I will be writing on now is my opinion on people trying to correct pronunciations. It was in my 12th standard that one of my English teachers gave a small talk on how English has changed over centuries, i.e. from Shakespearian time to this day and how “alive” the language is. On the other hand, we have Sanskrit which is deemed very sacred and not allowed to be touched upon. The language is “dead”, nobody speaks in Sanskrit today.
English has changed so much that what was considered wrong 10 years back can be considered correct today. The growth in the number of people speaking the language has enriched the language all by itself. Complicated language alright, flexibility is a feature which makes the language a global one.
While English is at one end, Sanskrit is at the other. With all the rigid rules and inflexible grammar no one speaks the language. Well, from the opinion of many, thanks to the rigidity, it is the only language which can be implemented on a computer.
It is painful when “learnt” people try to correct a pronunciation. “It is not de-velope but di-velope”, “not clo-th, but claw-th” (I don’t know phonetics, hope you get the point). English is spoken by so many countries that several accents cropped up. I don’t understand which pronunciation the ‘learnt’ people call correct. The way the English speak, the way Australian speak, or the way American speak. The language has a universal acceptance. We Indians have our own accent which I think sounds great. We may not pronounce the words exactly the way English do, but the pronunciation is legitimate. It is wide spread, the entire geographical area and also the number of people, when you consider is phenomenal.
All I am saying is, “let the language grow and take its own course”. A pronunciation is correct is considerable or sizeable number of people use it.
I also don’t get when people say, “proper noun can be pronounced anyway you like.” Seriously, it my name and I want it pronounced the way I want it to be pronounced. Other words can be pronounced the way people in a region can pronounce it. Indians have a unique tongue, the way we pronounce our words is correct. Proper nouns however have only one correct pronunciation. This is where, in my opinion, linguists have got it all wrong.
We always have people saying, “go the Indian way.” Why no apply it languages too. If we are really proud of our culture, we should let it influence English too and watch how our culture as well as the English language grow.