I wrote the first edition of “Indian English phrases” a while back. Check it out in case you haven’t read it. Here are two more which cry out for attention.
11. “Baseless allegations”
This is usually the first, reflex response from any politician to anything that comes out of Arvind Kejriwal’s mouth. Its usage cuts across ideological, caste, creed and religious divides in India. So much so, this stock phrase stakes a pretty good claim to be India’s national phrase. Let’s dissect this one.
Allegation in itself means an assertion or a statement made without proof or basis in fact. “Baseless allegations” takes things to a whole new level ’cause it implies that things like “basefull” allegations and “baseless facts” exist.
Example:Parent: Is it true that you didn’t turn in the homework at school yesterday? 8th grader: I refuse to neither confirm nor deny what could be a basefull allegation. One more. Scientist: Sir, what do you think of Darwin’s theory of evolution? Redneck Robbie: Garbage! Stop spreading such baseless facts. And finally. Judge: How do you plead to charges of murder in the 2rd degree of the English language? AAP’s Ashutosh : Your Honor, these are baseless allegations. I had nothing to do with its untimely demise. By the way, I’d like to plead permanent insanity.
12. “Untimely Demise” [ And its first cousin, “Tragic demise.”]
I think this is a uniquely Indian thing. Often used to describe the sudden, unexpected or at times even widely anticipated death of anyone below the age of 80. Makes you wonder. Is there such a thing then as a “timely, delightful demise”? Aren’t all demises untimely and tragic? Especially if you view said demises through the lens of those undergoing demises?
No one ever goes, “Whatay awesome dude! His demise was perfectly timed. It isn’t all that tragic as you might think, In fact, we’re besides ourselves with joy.”