I have had a shocking revelation that has caused sleepless nights for me recently. I have realized that I am sorely mistaken in assuming that I know English. No! It is not something to do with SMS English. Those alphanumeric strings, I have concluded, require a translation app which has been installed only in the latest model of humans and it is hopeless for older models like me to attempt to understand.
To understand the depths of my shame you must realize how it feels for you to have brashly attempted to correct people whose command over the language far exceeds your own. My ears burn at the thought of the day I told someone - privately, thank God - that 'improvise' is used only to indicate finding a make-shift solution to a problem, like scotch-taping a leaking pipe till the plumber deigns to make a visit. To think that I had not realized what he knew - that 'improvise' was a more upmarket version of the word 'improve'. Now I, too, wish to improvise my English. (Please do not reject me as a student. I have already learnt to say "One of my friend" and "Many a times" when I had all along been wrongly using them as "One of my friends" and "Many a time") So, could someone please tell me what does one use when one wants to talk about the equivalent of the Hindi 'Jugaad'?
I can hardly rein in my anger at myself for having been so blind. Wait - there I go again making the same mistakes and losing track of hard-won knowledge. It ought to be 'reign' and not 'rein', I think. My obsolete knowledge says that 'reign' mean 'rule' and 'rein' is that thingy which controls the movement of a horse or any other such draft animal. There I was thinking that you can only use 'reign over' and 'rein in' but, again, I was totally wrong. How do I rein .. err... reign in my tears of mortification?
Of course, it is my age that is to blame. Uh! This relearning thing is rather difficult. I meant 'Off course' here, I think. But, you will agree, it is hard for someone who has always thought 'Off course' to mean 'going off the route' to change over instantly. Now, off course, I need to know what to say for 'going off the route' - other than saying 'going off the route'.
Come on, have I not proved that I am a serious student of new English? Hmm! I have spoiled my CV again, haven't I? Should it be 'Common'? But 'common' is the opposite of 'special', isn't it? (Now, now, do not go insisting on the old English, you bum. Just try to learn what to say when you mean the opposite of 'special'.) Did someone say 'common' is used for 'come on' as a colloquial usage - to denote how it is said? Hmm! That makes it all the more difficult. I mean I have heard people say, "Mittal is speaking" when they meant 'Mittal speaking" and if I started writing it all the way people pronounce I shall need to publish another dictionary to make people understand exactly what I am saying.
There I sit with bated breath waiting for my application to be approved but ..huh..can I ever learn? I mean it is 'baited breath' isn't it? But how does one bait a breath? You bait a hook with a worm to catch fish, you bait a rat-trap with food to catch a rat but what do you bait a breath with (Carbon-dioxide?) and to catch what? (Oh! Wait! Your problem is that you do not keep abreast of the latest scientific findings. You can bait a breath with the smell of toothpaste and catch the girl from the other side of the bus as she comes flying to you drawn by your breath! The problem with you is that I keep waiting with baited breath for you to change and you never do.)
I may have made a mistake here and there but please do not reject my application to learn new English. Common! Off course I am reigning in my impatience and waiting with baited breath to know whether I will get the golden opportunity to improvise my English!