Sunday, March 14, 2010

T(w)o ‘thon’ or No(t) t(w)o ‘thon’

The days are passing quietly without much happening, which in itself is a bad sign. On top of that, I got entangled in a dumb squabble last week with AG (one of the friends who came to see me off here) concerning the existence of a numerical suffix ‘-ठों’ in Hindi!

The story is simple: I usually add the above-mentioned suffix to a number to stress multiplicity (like ‘n-fold’) as in दो-ठों (two-of-them). But when AG heard ‘-ठों’ uttered more than once, he could not contain his confusion, giggled and asked: What the hell is ‘-ठों’? I was as confused as he was and shot back: What the hell kind of question is that? And that’s day one of the confusion.

Next day, we were leaving the department to have lunch and he brought up ‘-ठों’ and stressed that it is NOT a Hindi ‘word’. And I stressed it IS! After too much stressing from both sides, it got stressful and we agreed to ask some other Indians around, then and there. (Just for some dramatic effects: It was drizzling then and sorting out this lingual debate was such a ‘high’ priority that) He called one (Source G*) and I called two (Source A & Source S). [It is also interesting to note that he called someone on-campus and I called people way out-of-campus!] Anyway, his ‘accomplice’ agreed with him and my ‘accomplices’ ‘agreed’ with me!

I write the second agreed in ‘inverted commas’ because my Sources confirmed that they have heard ‘-ठों’ used (and they themselves use it!) but added that it is at best a colloquial / regional construct; not an ‘authentic’ part of the Hindi language… (Oh yeah, that much is certain with no reasonable doubt now!)

So after day two, I still use ‘एन-ठों’ (n-of-them!) in Hindi conversations and AG still giggles at its use!

Finally, I’ll leave you with my website’s new address:


*SG has made his first appearance on my blog in this post so no links available to use!