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December 31, 2010

Best short story on the BBC

The Smart Detective
 Short story is a very powerful way of narrating a tale. The tale has to be gripping and the effect should not be lost on the readers. Let me narrate a story that was chosen as one of the best short stories ever written and it was narrated on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).

This particular story was selected as the best among the many short stories that were sent to BBC as a part of a contest. The short story is titled “the smart detective”.

This story is about a famous and a clever criminal. Let us call him Anderson. Anderson is a master con artiste. He is a charmer and is notorious at swindling people. He is on the run. He is being chased by a detective from the world famous crime detection centre in the world – the Scotland Yard. The detective's name is Richardson.

Richardson is chasing Anderson all over England. But catching Anderson was a very elusive task. He appears to be in the grasp of Richardson but manages to slip out at the last minute. Richardson was getting frustrated. He had to catch Anderson before he could slip out of England.

Finally Richardson traces Anderson to a water front. Anderson was planning to board a ship to go to France. The situation was desperate and called for a drastic action. Bu there was a problem. Richardson did not have a photograph of the criminal. He has to be doubly sure before an arrest could be made. A false arrest could lead to a very embarrassing situation for the Scotland Yard and might result in a libel action.

Anderson was at a stationery shop. Richardson who was in his civics (Civics means being in civilian dress i.e he was not wearing his uniform) had a brain wave. He slides up to Anderson, takes out his Parker pen and requests Anderson to try out the pen. He tells him that the pen  was not working and says “check it out”. Anderson writes something on a paper and immediately Richardson arrests the criminal.

How did Richardson get the confidence that he had his man? The solution is very simple. Most people are narcissistic and would love to write about themselves given the smallest opportunity. Like all of us Anderson when presented with an opportunity signed his own name. And luckily Richardson had the signature of Anderson and he affected an arrest.

December 30, 2010

Once a thief always a thief - a touching short story

Keeping to the topic of best stories let us look at a story “Once a thief always a thief”. This story was recited to me by my father. It is a story of a very wealthy man David who was shopping in the market. He was very  excited as the next day was his daughter’s 5th birthday. He was overjoyed.

Suddenly a voice hailed him. He turned around and was stunned to see his child hood friend Samuel. There was a lump in his throat. It was not a happy sight as his friend was a criminal par excellence. He was crème de la crème. He was so cunning that everyone knew him as a criminal but he went scot free as there was no proof of any wrong doing. 

Samuel was very excited “My friends, long time no see. What are you doing here?” “Shopping” was the sullen answer. “That is very interesting; you have lots of birthday material with you. Any one celebrating a birthday in your house?”

“My daughter’s birthday” was the cautious response from David.

“How very exciting, are you not going to call me?’ enquired Samuel

If you want to come, you can”

Thumping his friend on his back Samuel replied “you bet I will”.

David returned home. He was worried. He had called many of his influential friends. He did not want Samuel to come and spoil the party for very one. The next day was a day to remember. It was a most festive party the city had witnessed in years. The party was in full swing and suddenly a collective gasp went up in the audience.

Walking nonchalantly and without a care in the world was Samuel the con man. He hailed David and sat next to him. He made a light conversation and was ignoring the dirty and curious looks that the others were giving him.

The party was progressing when David’s daughter suddenly appeared “look DAD” She exclaimed “mummy gave me the only gold coin in the world that is very unique. It has three faces instead of the usual two. Mummy told me that it is the only such coin in the world. She told me it was invaluable”. This stirred up the entire crowd. There were “let me have a look” requests everywhere. The coin started changing hands.

David’s daughter returned after some time “Dad where is my coin?”David looked around. The coin was nowhere to be found. A frantic search was futile. The coin was either lost or stolen. The needle of suspicion turned towards Samuel who was sagely munching his food.

“What a cheek!” everyone thought, “see his cool”, “he should be flogged” murmurs went round the crowd. Sensing the crowd turning violent, David made appeal. “Friends I don’t want this party to be spoiled. I have a proposal. As all the people here are gentlemen, let us prove ourselves by subjecting ourselves to a body search, so that we will be relieved of the burden of suspicion. Any objections?”

“Yes I do have an objections” piped in Samuel” You can’t insult me by subjecting me to a body search. I am a guest not a criminal”

The crowd was stunned. The party was thoroughly spoiled. All the guests took their leave with a heavy heart. Only David and Samuel were left. David was seething in anger. It was his aristocratic upbringing that stopped his from handing over Samuel to the cops.

The maids were cleaning the plates and suddenly they found the COIN. It was brought to the notice of David. David was surprised "friend, the COIN was found. Why is that you objected to the search? Why did you make yourself the object of such ridicule and scorn?”

Samuel slowly got up. He took out another coin from his pocket. It was the exact replica of the coin that was found "David your wife was wrong. There are TWO such coins in the world. One was with your wife’s family as a family heirloom and the others as with me. I came to the party to gift the second coin to your daughter. Here it is, take it. ONCE A THEIF, ALWAYS A THIEF” Saying thus he slowly walked out of life of David.

December 29, 2010

Best seat in the world - A study in human behaviour

The story is a study in human behavior. After the Second World War the super powers had realized the futility of atom and nuclear bombs. The bombs were very effective but create a monster that was very difficult to reign in. The damages are very high both for humans and the environment. The effects of a nuclear bomb are felt for more than 30 years. The effects of radiation not only affect the bombed country but the surrounding countries too.

The super powers have come out with a new bomb. It was called a neutron bomb. Neutral bona is a deadly new bomb. When deployed it kills all the animal form but does not create any other damage. There is no radiation. There is no problem of any damage to the country’s infrastructure. The invading country can come in and occupy the bombed country at leisure. But there is a catch; they will have to wait for some time till the carcasses of dead animals get rotted away.
Once in a fit of anger one super power deployed the neutron bomb on another country. It had a huge impact. Planes crashed, trains ran off rails, there were massive traffic jams and there were major accidents and all animal life in that country was wiped out. It is the scene that was too frightening even to fathom.

Except for some mosquitoes and a few rats everything else was rotting. The roads had become unwalkable. There was no chirping of birds, no movement. It was a country of the ghosts. But like all strange things in life ONE MAN survived. He got out of coma after 10 days and could not believe what was happening around him. There was plenty of food but it was rotting. There was no electricity, no safe drinking water and absolutely no civil order or society.

No one was visible on the roads, no newspapers, no TV and radio and there was a deafening silence. Our man was getting mad. There was no one to talk and nothing to do. To keep himself sane he started taking long walks. The walks were drab and uninteresting but they helped him stay alive.

Our man got into a pattern of behavior. He went to the same park; it was an apology of a park. It has rotting trees and the park had a terrible stench – the stench of death. Our man always sat at the same bench. It was a very huge park and it had many benches but our man always sat on the same bench.

Three months passed this way and after three months when he was sitting on his bench he saw a sight that made his heart leap into his mouth. It was a sight of a very ragged man slowly walking towards him. He too had obviously survived the holocaust. As far our man was concerned they were the only two living people in the entire country.

The other man slowly walked to our man and said in a faltering voice “Excuse me you are sitting on my favorite bench.  Please vacate it at once please”

December 28, 2010

Gandhiji and frugality

Gandhiji was known to be a frugal person. He was fond of recycling things. Many of the letters that were written by Gandhiji were written on the backside if the letter were written on one side and even in the margins. He strongly believed one unit of paper saved is one unit of paper generated.

One anglophile had written a stinker of  petition to Gandhiji. He presented the letter with a flourish to Gandhiji. He was of the opinion that India was better off under the British . He was insinuating that India cannot be ruled by its own people.

Gandhiji quietly read the entire letter without changing his expression. He calmly threw the petition into the waste paper basket. The Englishman was aghast. He said “ Mr. Gandhi   I have spent lot of time on that petition. Don’t tell me that you did not find anything useful”.

Gandhiji calmly replied “True, there is nothing of value in your petition. But on searching I found something of value even in your petition”. Smilingly Gandhiji took out a pin that was used to hold the paper and showed it to the speechless Englishman.

December 26, 2010

Product Innovation Factory - 3M

Many of us wonder if great inventions are just spur of the moment happenings. Or are they planned. Can creativity and brilliance be taught in a class room. The examination of some of the successful products developed by 3M answers these questions.

3 M has a concept called the 85-15. 85 percent of the time the employee has to do the work that is assigned to him and the other 15 percent he can do anything that fancies him. Many of the employees of 3 M are amateur scientists and they experiment with their ideas in the laboratories., Also most of the products that become successful at 3 M are accidental discoveries. But 3 M should be appreciated that they gave rope and encouragement for accidental discoveries and apparent failures. Failures as a product satisfying one particular need but stupendously successful in solving some other customer need. Brilliance is 10% intelligence and 90% diligence.

Post-it® Notes:They are the great little self-stick notes.  Most people have Post-it® Notes.   Most people use them.  Most people love them. 

But Post-it® Notes were not a planned product.  A man named Spencer Silver was working in the 3M research laboratories in 1970 trying to find a strong adhesive.  Silver developed a new adhesive, but it was even weaker than what 3M already manufactured.  It stuck to objects, but could easily be lifted off.   It was super weak instead of super strong. 

No one knew what to do with the stuff, but Silver didn't discard it.  Then one Sunday four years later, another 3M scientist named Arthur Fry was singing in the church's choir.  He used markers to keep his place in the hymnal, but they kept falling out of the book.  Remembering Silver's adhesive, Fry used some to coat his markers.  Success!  With the weak adhesive, the markers stayed in place, yet lifted off without damaging the pages. The beauty of this products is one can stick these notes on any surface and once the sticker is taken off the surface is not damaged. 

Masking tape: One afternoon, an engineer of 3M Drew wanted to test a new batch of sandpaper, so he visited an auto body shop in St. Paul, Minn. When he entered the shop, he heard a group of workers cursing vehemently. He asked about the problem. Two-tone cars were popular then, but the effect required workers to mask certain parts of the auto body using a combination of heavy adhesive tape and butcher paper. After the paint dried, workers removed the tape – and often peeled away part of the new paint.

Their labor was undone, and costs mounted for the customer. Drew watched as the workers began to touch up the flawed paint. Drew realized that what the customer really needed was a tape with less aggressive adhesive. Drew also realized that 3M already had several of the elements of tape making at its disposal. Sandpaper required a backing, an adhesive and an abrasive mineral. Hold the mineral and you have an adhesive tape.

Drew took his idea back to the lab. He began a long and frustrating quest for the right combination of materials to create what would become the world’s first tape specifically designed for masking.

Scotch Tape: Drew the American inventor was pursuing his research, he spoke with a fellow 3M researcher who was considering packaging 3M masking tape rolls in cellophane, a new moisture-proof wrap created by DuPont. Why, Drew wondered, couldn't cellophane be coated with adhesive and used as a sealing tape for insulation purpose?

Cellophane could indeed work as a backing for pressure-sensitive tape. But it was difficult to apply adhesive evenly upon it. Also, cellophane split easily in the process of machine coating. But for each such challenge, Drew found an answer. He discovered that if a primer coat was applied to cellophane, the adhesive would coat evenly. As for splitting, special machinery solved that problem. Finally, Drew developed virtually colorless adhesives to improve the aesthetics of the tape.

Scotch cellophane tapes went on to become one of the most famous and widely used products in 3M history. Commercial enterprises used it for packaging. Farmers found it handy for patching cracked turkey eggs Homeowners used it to repair toys and torn book pages. New uses continue to be discovered – and product sales continue to grow.

Scotchgard™: Patsy Sherman a young chemical researcher was assigned to work on a project to develop a rubber material that would resist deterioration from jet aircraft fuels. In 1953, an assistant in Sherman's lab spilled some drops of an experimental compound on her new tennis shoes. The assistant was merely annoyed by her inability to clean off the drops – soap, alcohol and other solvents were of no avail.

But Sherman was fascinated by the amazing resiliency of the experimental compound. With the help of fellow 3M chemist Sam Smith, Sherman began to conceive of an idea that seemed unthinkable at the time – the development of a fluorochemical polymer that could actually repel oil and water from fabrics.

In 1956, Scotchgard™ Protector was launched in the marketplace. The unarticulated need of customers for a versatile fabric and material protector had been articulated – and satisfied – at last. The broad line of successful Scotchgard™ brand products was under way.

Quite literally, the discovery of the Scotchgard protector stemmed from an accident. This led many to observe that 3M had a seeming knack of stumbling onto new products. But as 3M executive Richard P. Carlton wryly and wisely observed, "You can't stumble if you're not in motion."

Through all her success, Sherman has retained her appreciation for the role of the unexpected in innovation. "How many great discoveries," she once asked, "would never have occurred were it not for accidents?"

December 25, 2010

Marketing Communications– The case of Perrier Mineral Water in USA

 Tennis fans watching French Open distinctly remember the water cooler prominently displaying the word “Perrier” the king of mineral water in the world.

The spring in Southern France from which Perrier is drawn was called Les Bouillens. Local doctor Louis  Perrie bought the spring in 1898 and operated a commercial spa there; he also bottled the water for sale. He later sold the spring to Sir Saint-John Harmsworth, Harmsworth closed the spa, He renamed the spring Source Perrier and started bottling the water in distinctive green bottles.

Harmsworth marketed the product in Britain at a time when Frenchness was seen as 'chic' and aspirational to the middle classes.

Soon Perrier spread its wings and went across the Atlantic. It went to the USA, the mother of all market places. The timing was perfect. The company did market research.  The 4 Ps were fine-tuned to a nicety, the pricing as perfect, the trade was told how to take care of the demand  and the launch was impeccable.

The results were disconcerting. The product was not doing as well as expected. The feedback was positive. There were no complaints about the quality or the price, promotion or  distribution. So  what was going wrong?

To understand what was going wrong we will have to delve deep into the psyche of a typical American. Americans are brought up on Coke and Pepsi. They find drinking water alien. The author's personal experience was very enlightening. When asked for water, most of the bartenders had a puzzled expression. Thy would hand out plastic cups. The plastic cups would have H20 written on them. The author himself had to go to the soda fountain and get a fill of water.

Amercians do drink water. But the water has to be colored. Adding color to the distinctively crystal clear Perrier mineral water would be going against the grain of the product itself. So what to do?

Taking the help of the American psychology a solution was arrived at. Americans have a fight going on with themselves all the time. America is filled with calorie filled goodies and quite frequently  a typical American would gorge himself on fatty foods and  wash it down it with  a huge glass of Coke or Pepsi. Then the guilt would step in. He/she would make a beeline to the nearest gym or a tread mill and try to work out the calories that he/she had binged upon.

Perrier hit upon a brilliant idea. Their next campaign talked about Perrier as a “zero calorie drink”. There was an underplaying of the word water and emphasis on the catch phrase “Zero calorie”. It was clearly saying eat what you want to eat but instead of washing it down with Coke or Pepsi have Perrier and save 300 to 400 calories as water is totally calorie free.

Perrier showed us how a product need not be tinkered all the time, One can subtly change the communication and the product could be set on the certain path of success.

December 23, 2010

Music and Narayana Murthy

Narayana Murthy of Infosys was being interviewed on the Television. The interview was progressing normally. The interviewer asked Narayana Murthy about the type of music he liked. Narayana Murthy said “Western Symphony". Taken back by the answer the interviewer asked him “what about Indian music" Narayana Murthy said “Please do not mistake me. I like Indian music but I like the western symphony better". 

When asked to explain his views, Narayana Murthy gave the following explanation. In his view Indian music is very single person centred. For example if a musician is playing the Veena the entire focus is on the Veena player himself. Suppose a singer is reciting carnatic music the focus is totally on the singer. Even the accompanying player on the Veena is ignored. That is the way the Indian psyche is shaped. The entire focus is on the individual and on individual achievements. It is no wonder that Indians do well in sports where they compete individually. Take the case of chess, Billiards, and even in cricket where the records made by Sachin are more talked about than the defeats in which he was very much part of. 

At the same time the Western Symphony is totally team oriented. Symphony is a music where hundreds of musicians have to synchronize their music to the note. The beauty of the music that is produced by Symphony is unbelievable. Even if one note or musician is out of tune the audience will know that the music is not perfect. Symphony is all about team work. That is the message that Narayana Murthy wants to give us - Working in a corporate is all about team work just like the Symphony. All the employees have to come together to create  a perfect work or music. There is no scope for individual brilliance or Prima Donnas. All for one and one for all. That is the concept that Narayana Murthy is talking about.

December 22, 2010

Potato in the organization!

Let us remember that in the modern dog eat dog world the competition is severe and cut throat. Some famous companies get thousands of bio-data in the course of a single day. So one has to consciously work to make one's bio-data as attractive as possible.

It is relevant to mention an example here. Knowing that many people are applying for a coveted job an applicant applying for a post in a famous advertising agency sent a potato as his bio-data saying very crispy "I want to be a potato in your organization". 
 He was called to the interview and he was asked as to what he means by that outrageous statement. The candidate replied" Sure sir, A potato is a very versatile vegetable, it can be used in any dish, it can be used to enrich any dish and it gives lots of energy. So like a potato you will find me very versatile and I would fit into any department and I would be very versatile". Needless to say he got the job.

Enjoying the job

It is said that if one’s hobby becomes his job that person is destined to do his job very well. Let me illustrate. Let us say we have a production worker. He has to fit bolts in the wheel assembly. He does his job well but he does not give it all that he has. That is he is working with his head and hands. But he is not giving his heart. 

Let us say that the same man loves dogs. In other words dogs are his hobby. As far as dogs are concerned he would do anything to satisfy his interest about dogs. He would pour over magazines on dogs, he would discuss threadbare about dogs with his friends. He would gape at pedigree dogs that he sees in the street. He would drive miles to see dog shows and he is an avid watcher of dog and wildlife progammes on the television. All this indicate that hobby is his all consuming passion. If that passion can come into our jobs we would be excellent as workers, and as employees. 

The job that our friend should look for is in the field of show dog breeding, dog training, sale of dog food and dog related accessories. That way he can pursue his hobby and make a living.  
Cities in India are crowed and most of the traffic is quite undisciplined and unruly. People honk, cut each other in the traffic, abuse and are at each other’s throat all the time. Their road rage is very apparent but the people most affected are the traffic cops. They are mostly helpless, ill equipped and have limited authority. They do not possess high speed vehicles and till very recently could not even record and apprehend errant drivers. 

The traffic cops did not have any protection against pollution and are a demoralized lot. They have to perform duties in hot sun and cheek in jowl with milling vehicles and traffic. No wonder they have grown surly, sulking and not surprisingly become aggressive and abusive. They are mostly ignored and are considered a minor irritant when one is driving.

But one traffic cop’s action is printed vividly in my eyes. This traffic junction was Jai hind cafe junction in Ashoknagar, Hyderabad. It was  manned by a traffic cop named Narsing Rao. Narsing Rao was a very nice man. He always has a ready smile and would cheerfully greet his regular friends. His style of directing traffic was like a ballet dance. He would gently chide drivers trying to cut ahead of traffic or who were trying to violate the rules. He would say “Arre Saab, why don’t you wait for a few seconds please?” His gentle manners and smile won him many admirers. 

Narsing Rao featured in the local press and became a minor celebrity. The story was caught on by the Television and he was featured in the local television channels and finally was a part of a BBC progamme. The state government recognized his services, gave his a promotion and made his an instructor in the traffic training school. I am sure that Narsing Rao became a very good teacher and may his tribe multiply exponentially.

I could get hold of a YouTube video titled dancing traffic cop . The gay abandon with which he dances makes us envious. We question ourselves as why is that we are not doing his job. That I think is the essence of doing any job. Do it so well that other people become envious of you and want to copy you. Look at Sachin Tendulkar the cricketing legend. He bats so well that he has spawned interest in two generations about cricket No one can replace Sachin but a Shewag has emerged and that is a plus for world cricket.

Dancing Cop

December 20, 2010

IV - New words that have entered the english language

1.      Road rage Aggressive habits often resulting in violence against other drivers,

2.      Sandwich generation A generation of people who care for the needs of their children as well as those of their own elderly parents.

3.      Screenager A young person or teenager who spends a lot of time in front of the computer screen.

4.      Sitcom Blend of ‘situation’ and ‘comedy’. A drama, on television, based on humorous everyday situations.

5.      Slumdog Very poor, underprivileged person who lives in an overcrowded squalid area of a city called a slum.

6.      Smirt Blend of ‘smoke’ and ‘flirt’. Smoking prohibition laws have led to a new sort of social pastime: ‘smirting’, smokers getting to know each other when outside on the pavement.

7.      Snail mail The standard postal system of delivering mail which is very slow in contrast to electronic mail.

8.      Spinnish The language used by spin doctors, spokes-persons, campaign managers, etc. when trying to present information in a favourable light.

9.      Staycation A vacation in which you stay at home and relax or visit places close to where you live.

10.  Textual harassment Sending text message to mobile phones which insult or abuse people.

11.  Tombstoning Jumping or diving into water from a dangerously high place such as a hotel balcony, a cliff, bridge, wall, roof, etc.

12.  Trekkie A fan of the TV science fiction series Star Trek

13.  Tweet People who ‘tweet’ send short messages via the microblogging service Twitter.

14.  Upskill Teach an employee new or additional skills.

15.  Web rage Anger or frustration as a result of difficulties or problems encountered when using the internet.

16.  Webinar Presentation or seminar conducted over the web.

17.  Wordle The words of a piece of text arranged into a sort of graphic. The more frequent a particular word appears in the text, the bigger its size in the wordle.

December 19, 2010

III - New words that have entered into the english language

1.      It bag High-priced designer handbag that is the bag “of the moment”, or a “must – have” item.

2.      It girl A girl who has become a celebrity more through intense media coverage than through any personal achievements (e.g. Paris Hilton)

3.      Jumbrella Blend of ‘jumbo’ and ‘umbrella’. Very large umbrella set above tables outdoors at a coffee shop, pub or restaurant.

4.      Landline A telephone connected to wires in a fixed location as opposed to a mobile or cell phone.

5.      Mailbomb To deliberately try to disrupt another computer system by sending massive amounts of email to it.

6.      Meritocracy The idea that merit and individual effort determine one’s success rather than wealth or birth.

7.      Mocktail Non alcoholic drink that looks like a cocktail.

8.      Netbook   Small laptop computer which weighs less than 3 pounds and has a 7 to 10 inch screen.

9.      Netiquette Blend of ‘network’ and etiquette’.Set of rules governing appropriate behavior and courtesy on the internet.

10.  Netizen Blend of ‘internet’ and ‘citizen’. A person who spends an excessive amount of time on the internet.

11.  Newbie A new member of any group, community, or activity

12.  Nonliner   Someone who rarely or never uses the internet, usually because they cannot access it.

13.  Noogler New Google employee

14.  Norspot An area where there is slow Internet access or no connection at all.

15.  Noughites The years between 2000 and 2009 which contain a ‘nough’ (zero), in the same way as other decades are called the ‘thirties’, sixties, etc.

16.  Offshorable  Something that can be done or produced in another country, especially at reduced costs.

17.  Oversharing Providing too much information on the Internet (credit card details, personal information, etc.) especially through social network sites.

18.  Overworking class A segment of today’s working population where there is a desire or need to work long hours.

19.  Password fatigue Being tired of having to remember a large number of passwords for different electronic devises.

20.  Recessionista Popular new term for a person who succeeds in dressing stylishly on a tight budget.

December 18, 2010

II - New words that have entered into the english language

1.      Docusoap Blend of ‘documentary’ and ‘soap’. (soap opera: sentimental TV serial) A ‘docusoap’ is a reality television programme in the style of a documentary.

2.      Dramedy Combination of ‘drama’ and ‘comedy’. A film, play or TV programme that mixes drama and comedy.

3.      Earworm A tune that keeps repeating itself over and over again in our heads.

4.      E-cruitment Online recruitment of employees, including online submission of resumes and cover letters.

5.      Emoticon A blend of ‘emotion’ and ‘icon’. A symbol, used in email messages, which is made out of punctuation marks and resembles a human face

6.      E-stalk To stalk (follow) someone using Internet searches and email

7.      Fashionista Person who dresses according to the latest fashion trends.

8.      Flam war A period during which angry or rude email messages are exchanged.

9.      Flash mob A crowed that gathers in a pre-determined place, performs an action then disperses very quickly. The mob is not told exactly what to do until just before the event.

10.  Flexitarian A vegetarian who sometimes eats meat or fish

11.  Freemale A women who is happy to stay and independent so that she can do what she wants when she wants

12.  Flightmare Blend of ‘flight’ and ‘nightmare’. Unpleasant air travel experience (lost luggage, missed connections, etc.)

13.  Gastropub A pub which, in addition to beer and alcoholic drinks, offers gastronomic cuisine.

14.  Gastrosexuals  A new generation of men who see cooking more as a hobby than a household chore, and use their cooking skills to impress friends and potential partners.

15.  Greycation Going on holiday or vacation with grandparents in order to reduce the cost.

16.  Guesstimate Blend of ‘guess’ and estimate’. A rough estimate without any claim of accuracy.

17.  Hoody or hoodie A person, especially a youth, wearing a hooded top.

18.  Hotspot Location in which wireless Internet access is available for example airports, hotels, train stations, etc.

19.  Infomania Constantly checking and responding to email and text messages.

20.  Infotainment Blend of ‘information’ and entertainment’. Online services connected to information and leisure activities.

December 17, 2010

I - New words that have entered into the english language

Affluenza  A blend of 'affluence' and 'influenza'. A social disease resulting from extreme materialism and excessive consumerism: earning more money and consuming more, which can lead to overwork, debt, waste, stress, anxiety, etc.

Agritourism A form of tourism in which tourists stay on farms or in agricultural villages, and often participate in farm activities.

Alcopop Fruit drinks fortified with alcohol, designed and marketed to appeal to young people.

Audiophile Person who loves and collects high-quality audio equipment.

Baggravation Blend of the words ‘bag’ and ‘aggravation’. A feeling of annoyance and frustration at the airport when your baggage has not arrived but the other passengers’ bags have.

Busking Performing on the streets and other public places, while soliciting donations. Busy urban areas will attract street performers (buskers) who sing pla, juggle, etc.

Buzz Excited interest or attention surrounding, for example, anew invention, a recent event or something that has become fashionable.

Buzzword A new word or expression that is commonly used in specialized work environments or age-groups, and has become fashionable. Terms used in advertising can often convert into buzzwords and become widely used.

Captcha Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart. A distorted image of letters and numbers used to ensure that a response is not generated by a computer, in order to prevent spamming.

Carjacking Blend of ‘car’ and hijacking’ when a car driver is forced to give up his vehicle or drive to a destination designated by the attacker.

Citizen journalism News collected and reported by ordinary people, especially through the use of blog software.

Daycation A trip or short vacation which lasts only one day- daycationers do not stay away overnight.
Decruitment Euphemism for laying-off or downsizing a company.

    December 16, 2010

    Catch 22, Oxymoron, telugu, hindi and Urdu words in English

    From Catch-22:  a novel by Joseph Heller - A situation marked by contradiction, absurdity, or paradox, where a solution is impossible to achieve. In this World War II novel, an air force regulation states that a man is to be considered insane if he is willing to continue to fly dangerous missions. To be relieved of such duties all he has to do is ask. But one who makes such a rational request shows that he is, in fact, sane.

    Ask members of the public what they think about street sellers, and the most virtuous will respond that they should be banned from the city streets. Yet the sellers do a roaring business and could not do so unless their goods and services met a substantial public need.

    Oxymoron: A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist. Plastic lemons, Electric candles, Rubber bones for dogs, Floating soap, China eggs to persuade hens to lay, Solid water (ice), Bricked-up windows, Artificial grass, Wax fruit, Invisible ink, Glass hammers, Solid wooden bottle moulds

    Telugu words in English: 1)Bandicoot is the name for the Indian mammal Bandicota indica, or "bandicoot rat". This animal is actually quite unrelated to the Australian marsupial known as the bandicoot, but the early Australian colonists thought that the Australian animal bore some resemblance to its Indian namesake - and the name stuck. 2) Bandi a horse drawn carriage.
    Hindi and Urdu words used in English:
    Avatar: from Sanskrit avataar meaning "incarnation."

    Bandanna from Bandhna, to tie a scarf around the head.

    Bangle from Bāngīa type of bracelet.

    Brahmin   member of Hindu caste a traditional priest

    Bazaar - market

    Bungalow from bangalUrdu بنگلہ banglA, literally, "(house) in the Bengal style".

    Calico from calicut, meaning "a coarse cotton cloth with a bright printed pattern".

    Cheetah from cītā, meaning "variegated".

    Chit from Chitthi, a letter or note.

    Chutney from chatni, "to crush"

    Cot from Khāt, a portable bed.

    Cummerbund  from kamarband , cf. कमरबन्द - Urdu کمربند, meaning "waist binding"

    Cushy from khushi, cf. Hindi ख़ुशी - Urdu خوشی "easy, happy, soft" [ultimately from Persian]

    Dacoit  from Dakait, meaning a member of a class of criminals who engage in organized robbery and murder.

    Dekko (UK slang for 'a look') from Dekho, the imperative 'look', (دیکھو देखो ) meaning look at or study something.

    Dharma from Dharma, meaning righteous duty.

    Dharna meaning a mode of compelling payment or compliance, by  sitting at the debtor's or offender's door until the demand is complied with. (this is more used by political agitators than by debtors or debtees now.)

    Garam Masala from Hindi and Urdu aگرم مصالحه garam masaalaa, literally "warm ( hot) mixture"

    Guru  from Guru, A teacher, instructor, intellectual or spiritual guide or leader, any person who counsels or advises; mentor. e.g. "The elder senator was her political guru."

    Gymkhana  A term which originally referred to a place where sporting events take place and referred to any of various meets at which contests were held to test the skill of the competitors.

    Juggernaut : from Jagannath (Sanskrit: जगन्नाथ jagannātha), a form of Vishnu particularly worshipped at the Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa where during Rath Yatra festival thousands of devotees pull temple carts some 14m (45 feet) tall, weighing hundreds of tons through the streets. The word became a metaphor for something immense and unstoppable because of institutional or physical inertia; or impending catastrophe that is forseeable yet virtually unavoidable because of such inertia.

    Jungle from jangal, another word for wilderness or forest.

    Karma from Karma , meaning acts or deeds.

    Khaki: from khākī "of dust colour, dusty, grey", cf. Hindi ख़ाकी - Urdu خاکی [ultimately from Persian].

    Kama from Kām , meaning god of love, act of sex.

    Loot from Loot meaning 'steal'.

    Monsoon: he Arabic word for season, mawsin, spelt mausam in Hindi is the origin of the word monsoon due to their annual appearance.

    Poori from Hindi poori, from Sanskrit (pura) or "cake"

    Pundit from Pandit, meaning a learned scholar or Priest.

    Pukka  (UK slang: "genuine") from Pakkā ,پکا cooked, ripe, solid.

    Pyjamas from Hindi, (paijaamaa), meaning "leg garment"

    Raita from Hindi and Urdu ریتا rayta

    Roti from Hindi  and Urdu روٹی roti "bread"; akin to Prakrit rotta "rice flour", Sanskrit rotika "kind of bread"

    Shampoo  from chāmpo is the imperative of  chāmpnā "to smear, knead the muscles, massage" (the scalp massage with some kind of oily or treacly mixture just before a bath).

    Thug from Thagi ठग, meaning thief or conman.

    Toddy (also Hot toddy) from Tārī ताड़ी, juice of the palmyra palm.

    Verandah courtyard

    Yoga  A traditional physical and mental discipline originating in India..