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One of the strengths we have in India is supposedly our knowledge of the English language. This is an advantage we have over China, which I am afraid is fast catching up with thousands of Chinese being taught English by teachers outsourced- from India !

Yet my recent interactions in the corporate world sometimes make me wonder whether we are losing this traditional strength.

“How was your team outing?” I asked a young executive. “It was cool” he said ” We had an orgy”. The conservative in me told me that the boy was using an expression he had picked up off the street.

Another young man told me cheerfully ” Earlier I never used to eat non-veg. or drink. After I took this job in Bangalore, I have started non-vegetarian and once in a while I am beering. I am now alcoholic.”

A lady told me: ” I had a choice between jobs in Pune, Chennai and Bangalore. You can now here see me. I chose the latter”.

When I asked a person whether he was married, he said ” No more” which surprised me. It turned out he meant to say “Not yet” !

You get the idea.

Dr. Paul Brians is a Professor of English at Washington State University. I greatly appreciate the work he has done to educate people in the use of the English language.

I strongly recommend his site on Common Errors in English. There is a rich wealth of material there. Don’t try to read it all in one day. Bookmark this site and drop in whenever you wish to check a doubt.

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