BITS and Pieces

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Using adjectives twice

If something is small, how can it be small once again? Sounds funny, doesn’t it?

Well, although it surely will sound funny to the native ear, it is not so surprising that when we speak English, the Indian languages we speak make their presence felt in more ways than one.

Find out more about how we use words such as ‘small’ or ‘different’ incorrectly.

You might have heard women talk about how they are left with practically no time for themselves because ‘small small things in the kitchen take up so much of their time’ or how some guy was excited because the spread at the conference was so lavish that ‘he got to taste different different things.’

Using adjectives twice and not even realizing it, or worse still, thinking that it is indeed the correct way to use them, is the influence of Indian languages I was talking about. If you need a scapegoat, blame it on the Indian languages we speak, I say.

If we are used to saying ‘choti choti baton mein itna waqt jaya hota hai, kya kahoon’  or ‘waha hamein alag alag cheejein chakhnae ko mili’   then blurting out these sentences isn’t too difficult for us, I guess.

Indians spare very few adjectives. So be it ‘big big eyes’ or ‘nice nice gifts’, you are never far from hearing these grammatical blunders that would only make a native speaker smile from ear to ear. Long story short, we Indians must get our act right. When speaking English, make sure you are not firing the same adjective twice, one after the other. Do also advise your near and dear ones to stop doing it.

That is very (very) wrong 🙂

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Sandeep Nulkar - Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar started his career as a translator way back in 1993 and heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies – BITS Private Limited. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to create an identity for the Indian translator within and outside India.