Massacring the language

It’s true.I have the deplorable habit of judging people for their spellings. Some might call it snobbery, while most chalk it up to the ‘English-medium superiority complex’. For those of you unaware of this phenomenon, it is a mouthful used to describe the privileged born class of Pakistani citizens who have the audacity to pursue an education in a well established institute, usually private, cue gasp, as of-course private is synonymous with exorbitantly expensive (even if it is not), in lieu of the more sensible public schooling system which bases its entire structure of education on rote learning,murdering imagination in all its forms, a few sharp slaps (though I’ve heard that recently this has started to be discouraged but then I also heard that our energy crisis is just WAPDA’s way of playing peekaboo and it’s all just a joke really because everything is right as rain so I’m going to choose to be sceptic about this) and teachers committed to instilling fear, stamping out any love for knowledge whatsoever and starring in nightmares, bad memories and inevitably becoming the cause of deep psychological scarring that will require several years at the therapist’s office to deal with. Coming back to the phrase at hand the EMSC is attributed to individuals such as me who have decided to eschew our national language (allegedly) in favour of the English language and now consider themselves superior to those still grappling with its basic tenants and manifest this superiority by daring to correct them.

I resent that. I don’t correct to assert my superiority or my better grasp of the English language (well mostly I don’t), I correct because bad spellings like bad grammar(a whole other issue, I solemnly swear to address it later) are supremely annoying. They create an image of the dolt in a dunce cap made to sit in the corner in my mind. All my respect goes out the window when seemingly able human beings mess up spellings.There are instances where bad spellings especially cause me to go apoplectic, such as:

1.In Class:

When a professor has misspelled words in his presentation, I cannot bring myself to concentrate on the lecture, I stare at the word which is taunting me with its brazen incorrect-ness, displayed there like that for so many people to see, to copy, to reproduce, to scrawl and scribble it in their notes, to misspell it later still, to teach their children the incorrect spellings, an entire generation reproducing absolute drivel, for when a word is not spelled correctly it might as well be gibberish, but alas my limitations only allow me to correct the spellings myself, to type it out neatly, to check in my phone’s dictionary (yes moments like this even cause me to doubt myself..a little anyway) and reassure myself that atleast my future generations will be safe from making such ignorant errors as in my mind atleast there is no recovering from it.

2.In text messages:

What is with people and texting ‘da’ instead of ‘the’, ‘dere’ instead of ‘their’, ‘dat’ instead of ‘that’, ‘wid’ instead of ‘with’, ‘dix’ instead of ‘this’ etc etc. I just fail to get the idea behind this,what drives a sane person to assert their stupidity in such a manner? Do they feel like its saving them time? Missing a few words and typing like a monkey should never be used as an excuse to save time! Spellings are important people, the way you write is important, it makes all the difference between you and an imbecile . But the best is when,adhering to this annoying form of text lingo, people misspell the words without reducing the number of letters, I mean that just throws the time thing right out the window, what’s your excuse then? For example ‘anyway’ is spelled as ‘aniway’..more commonly ‘aniways’ (because apparently there were more ways going there than just one.) ‘okay’ as ‘okie’ because well that just sounds so much more cuter (in what universe?) ‘how are you’ as ‘howe r yew’ (seriously?) but what absolutely takes the cake is ‘kewl’ for ‘cool’ which in a sentence is commonly interjected as ‘dats so kewl’ , ‘yew luk kewl’ (I look what?honestly I first thought they meant some kind of fish until ofcourse I learnt better. But now I know so its ‘kewl’…not!)

3.While social networking:

Navigating through facebook posts and updates of our generation requires a handbook in itself. Most of the time I give up reading halfway because I just don’t get what they are trying to say. Forget spellings, wave goodbye to grammar and just watch the massacre helplessly while Shakespeare rolls in his grave. I have no idea who proposed this idea of cutting down words, inventing new spellings as a way of sounding ‘kewl’ but all I can try to do is convince people that its far from ‘kewl’, the fish or otherwise. It’s a sacrilege to the English language. It’s preposterous. It’s downright disturbing and it reflects upon us Pakistanis more badly than our alleged terrorist cells though I suppose a terrorist with the status update ‘bIG dAY 2dAy,gOinG To BlOwuP new targeTx,takE KaRE best WISHex fOr me and My brOthERs!’ would be the most damaging reflection to date.

4.Billboards,signs and other public displays:


Need I say more? 😉


The Guide

There are some things(or some people) that tend to irk me(and all other sane people) beyond measure. So, I’ve made a list, a guide, for all such people. If you do any of these things, this is a REALLY good time to stop. Trust me, you’ll thank me later! 🙂

1.  If I’m singing, you do not just start singing along. I hate to break this to you, but this just isn’t ‘GLEE‘ or ‘High School Musical‘. This, my friend, is real life. It isn’t cute or endearing. It’s plain irritating.

2. Typing like your keyboard is having a seizure(for e.g: typing “Hi there, what’s up? How have you been?’ as “HiiEE dre wtz Up? Hw hV yEW  Bn?”) does not make you seem cool. It really doesn’t.  It does, however, make you seem deranged. Note: The same goes for incorrect Grammar/Spellings.

3. There are those of us who tend to start ohmygosh-ing at everything. Yes, at even the most mundane things. I fail to understand why! This needs to stop. It’s creepy, and beyond lame. Enough said! 

4. Faking a British/American accent does not make you an ‘Angraiz’, however hard you may try. It’s nauseating – Please stop trying so freaking hard. This leaves me looking like this:

5. Speaking ‘Urdu’ as if it’s ‘Arabic’ does not make a better Muslim, contrary to what you may think.

 Normal Guy speaking urdu: Assalamo-Aleikum! Kya hal hai aap ka?

Guy who speaks Urdu like Arabic: Usss-salamm-oh-aleih-hukumh! Key-yah Hal-ah hai-ah aap-ah kah?

See what I mean? It’s plain weird!

6. Posting pictures and video of Twilight/Bieber/One Direction and polluting everyone’s Facebook/Twitter homepage is terrible. It’s evil. They’re over-rated. Get over them.

7. Writing the word ‘Breathe’ as ‘Breath’, and vice versa. This needs to stop. “Breathe” is defined as “to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire.”  “Breath” is defined as “the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration.” See the difference now? It isn’t rocket science. Mistaking these two for each other is downright disturbing. Please stop doing this. Now.

8. Tagging a dozen people in your profile picture and/or cover photo when the photo is of you alone is lame. I don’t know why you do this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you do it to get more likes/comments. Yes. Now, you see how utterly pathetic it truly is?! This too, needs to stop. Please.

9. Tweets/Status Updates about the weather. Now, really? No, I mean, like, really?! We’re not living in rabbit holes, trust me, we do know what it’s like outside. And no, we have no desire whatsoever to read about how you’re sweating buckets or shivering like a goddamn dog. You like the rain? Fine, but keep it to yourself, darls!

10. Swearing unnecessarily is not cool. It will not make you cool. It never was cool. It’s highly unbecoming.

11. Changing your relashionship status every week is not cool either. Frankly, no one really gives two shits about you going from ‘in a relashionship’ to ‘it’s complicated’ to ‘single’ to back to ‘in a relashionship‘. It just litters out homepage.


12.Uploading Emo pictures/Albums is pathetic. We know you’re creepy, do you really want to prove it now?

13. Keep your  unhealthy ‘Anime’ obsession (Naruto/Bleach/Death Note) to yourself. Yes, that means an end to anime-based status updates, tweets, display pictures, cover photos, quotes, wall-posts etc etc. Note: The same goes for all similar obsessions!

14. Nail art/ Nail Paint Freaks. Kindly refrain from uploading photos of your hands and feet with creepy nail paint/art/desings or whatever you want to call them. It’s not cute. No, not even a teensy bit.


15. Checking in at every single place on the planet  is unnecessary. You go a mile away from home and I see you checking in at some place. Exaple: ‘Sarah is at Club Road‘.

16. So you watched a movie. What’s the big deal? Do you really have to post a gazillion statuses and wall-posts about it in every possible way?! Do you really have to tell us that you loved it or hated it in about fifty different ways? We really do not care. Nope, we just don’t. I’m saying it again incase you missed it; We just do not care.

17. So, you want to tell us how your day went. Okay, fine. But posting about thirty lines about your stupid day with all the stupid details is just not normal. I said it before, and I’ll say it again; We do not care. And tagging half of your friend-list just makes it worse! It’s almost like you’re showing off, but that’d be absurd since clearly, your day wasn’t as great as you’re attempting to imply.


I guess that’s enough for now. Ofcourse, there are more things I could add, but I’m afraid I won’t ever stop and since I’ve got exams coming that may not be such a great idea! So, this is The Guide – learn it, love it, and live it because this is going to save you from embarassing and humilating yourself!It’s never too late, starting now, you can finally appear to be sane/normal. Isn’t that awesome? 😀 I know you will thank me someday 😉 Au revoir!

The Dupatta Symbol


I think, one of the most interesting and (later on) confusing aspects of Pakistani culture was the dupatta. My mother did a splendid job on telling me about its cultural and apparel importance along with its imperative nature in most regions of the country. In her ever subtle manner, she explained to me that as soon as a Muslim girl grows up, she is required to cover her body modestly. Initially it was more like a rag around my neck but as soon I began “blossoming”, I loved my dupatta like a police officer loves his gun. We all know how our Pakistani men are notorious for their staring stamina and I had my fair share of lewd experiences. That is when the dupatta came to my rescue. It’s like, you’re buying clothes in the bazaar and you can feel the salesman visually examining your curves and arches. What does a typical Pakistani woman do? She fixes her dupatta with a scowl.

I’m going to buy a DSLR some day and make a collage of the mentioned scenario. You will thank me. I know you will. But first meet Dupatta.

After accepting the dupatta as my savior, I began taking note of how girls adorned their feminine-beauty-covering buddy. I realized that every style left a message about the girl’s personality along with how the society perceives the young lady. There are five distinctive styles I cannot forget. Here’s an analytical(?)  note on each one of them.

Exhibit A: TRA LA LA LA LA Dupattay Wali


Probably the most hilarious kind to have ever existed. This is the TRA LA LA LA LA Dupattay Wali. She barely knows she’s wearing one. It dangles off her right shoulder, slipping to her right wrist while the left bit goes flying in the air. Sometimes her dupatta is on the floor while other times she’s simply too busy TRA LA LA LA LA -ing to notice where it disappeared. This kind (no offence) attracts the most eve teasers in the bazaar. In addition to that, the TRA LA LA LA LA Dupattay Wali is constantly chased by her worried mother who, in her earnest intention of covering her daughter from South Asian male interest, will end up buying a chadar for her in a week or two.

Exhibit B: Linear Dupattay Wali


Some of us love precision. But nobody loves accurate lines and measurements the way Linear Dupattay Wali does. She studies either in Beaconhouse School System or in Lahore Grammar School and is most probably the Head Girl of the senior section. She will take 4 minutes and 36 seconds to use at least 52 safety pins on her dupatta. And if it doesn’t look straight enough, hell is on its way. 

Exhibit C: Paindu Dupattay Wali


Paindu, a commonly-used term in Pakistan, is the only word that will explain this girl’s fashion sense (or lack thereof).  That’s right. This kind won’t shift their dupatta just a bit here and then there to look presentable. Indifference to fashion keeps them going.


Exhibit D: Bhangra Dupattay Wali or Intellectual Aunty



This kind will always leave a smirk on my face. The Bhangra Dupattay Wali is either a tomboy or an intellectual aunty or *drum roll* a dyke. You’ll find her usually debating the complexities of philosophy and literature. And as soon as she moves her muscle, you’ll think, “BHANGRA TIME” but she’ll explain her take on feminism instead. They’re not well-endowed either. Yeah, I’m a perv whatever.

Exhibit E: Daredevil Stylish Baji

I congratulate you if you wear your dupatta like this because no matter how pretty someone tells you you look, they’re probably calling you “shameless”  behind your back. This kind is, I guess, the daredevil. Their dupatta sticks to their necks and never goes down. So if a guy leers at them, they’ll probably gasp and ask, “Why must he stare like that, you know?!” in their Pakistani accents.

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So what kind are you? 🙂