Saturday, June 19, 2010

Coming or Going? Or Gone Wented Gone'd?

It's about time I thought about doing things in utter team work. To start with, the thing that struck my mind to write this pretty short column was to go to the college tomorrow or not. And while I still don't consider myself so good at English Grammar, still I like to enquire why would things go one way and not the other!
So, I was here, typing out a message to my 'bundle' of friends asking if they'll be joining me at the college tomorrow!
The point at which I was stuck was the key line of the message. I had two options, and for somebody normal, it wouldn't seem like a big thing to write any of the either or to see the difference between the two for being so simple yet so complicated in senses! (Call me paranormal or out of senses or crazy if you want that).
The two lines were: A. Are you coming to the college tomorrow? B. Are you going to the college tomorrow?
Caught up with any difference? Must have noticed just the change of the two words, 'going' and 'coming'. That isn't just word-play, but has a lot to deal with conveying meanings that may influence the reciever of the message that may influence his/her choice, in ways ranging from no changes to drastic ones. Ok, not so dramatic, but well between a yes or no.
In the case that i had to deal with, writing 'Are you coming to the college' would directly imply that I planned to come and that you either come or if you don't, I'm gonna pursue you to.
While on the other side, writing 'Are you going...' implies that I am reluctant to go and I would certainly wish that even you do the same.
So, the change of that simple word would result in the opposite message being conveyed. Such things are and have been critical in communication.
Wonder how small things have quite an impact! :)

Why do we say "TouchWood"

We say good things, we say bad things. What matters are the better things that we say.
Even you might have said a very good thing once, might be when you compliment something or just casually (who needs a special time to say a good thing!). And while you're at it, you might have used the word "touch wood".
Ever thought what this simple 2 word phrase meant when used in the context?
The word Touch Wood has been in use in mainly India, UK, Ireland and Australia. While other parts of the world use the phrase "Knock on Wood".
Actually, in older days, people used to have a belief that Gods dwell in trees. So, touching a tree was like having God's hand on them, protecting them from bad omens etc. So, when somebody would say something that would boast or just say something, it was and is believed that the evil would start to eye them. Then, touching a tree or 'wood' would ward off the evil! That's how Touchwood literally means the act of touching wood.
Now that you why, Touchwood!