When your car gets a puncture (increasingly called a “flat tyre” in the non-American parts of the English speaking world) in India, you open the “dicky” (“boot” in British-influenced countries), (“trunk” in America) and get the “stepney”. What’s a stepney? … Continue reading


The words “jewel”, “jewellery” and “jewellers” are commonly mispronounced. The “w” should be almost silent, i.e. “jooal”, “jooallery” and “jooalers”. This was brought home by a story in and this picture (credit to Mid-Day): The Marathi sign board uses … Continue reading

Coats or Quotes?

There is a good reason a “quote” is spelt differently from “Coat”. Simple. They are pronounced differently. “Quote” is pronounced “kwote” (क्वोट). “Coat” is pronounced “koat” (कोट)


I saw a concocted, unnecessary word – “vends”, used only in North India. It probably means “vendors”, which is the word to be used if communicating with educated people outside India.


Despite attempts by the Times of India group to change the English language, there is no such word as “upto”. It is two words, “up to”. Don’t believe it? Grab your trusty dictionary (provided that it wasn’t published by the … Continue reading