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On June 10, at 10.22 GMT in Stratford-upon-Avon (UK), the hometown of ace English playwright William Shakespeare, the millionth new word will enter the English language.
‘Finalists’ were announced on Saturday by The Global Language Monitor, ‘the newspaper of global English’ in Austin, Texas that has tracked the English language from 2003.
Nudging ‘alcopops’ (sugary drinks), ‘green-washing’ (rebranding a product as eco-friendly) and ‘octomom’ (the mother of octuplets), are two Hinglish heavyweights: ‘Jai Ho!’ (translated as ‘it is accomplished’) and ‘cuddies’ (from ‘chaddi’, underwear).
Slumdog Millionaire Oscar-winner Resul Pookutty told HT, “It’s great that ‘Jai Ho’ is part of international vocabulary. The other word may be less glorious, but it’s part of life and has its rights, too.”
Publisher Thomas Abraham, MD, Hachette India, said, “The wheel’s come full circle. Ten years ago in Oxford University Press, I worked on the very first Indian language supplement to the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. It came out to huge protest – in India! – that words like ‘bazaar’ were ‘not the Queen’s English’”.
Best-selling Hinglish-using writer Chetan Bhagat said, “My friends are dancing in New York and London to ‘Jai Ho! I think it’s cute if it becomes an English word.”
Nonagenerian writer Khushwant Singh, who had to sing ‘God Save the King’ before ‘Jana Gana Mana’ happened, chuckled, “Why not ‘Jai Hind’? That’s a good word for the English language.”