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Prepone Your Appointment

August 2011
Prepone Your Appointment Daniel D’Mello, a Mumbai-based writer for CNNGo.com, has put together a list of what he calls “10 Classic Indianisms,” including phrases such as “kindly revert” (reply), “do the needful” and “out of station” (out of town). The most famous Indianism of all time, he contends, is “prepone,” a word that he’d like to see in all English dictionaries.

Why? “Because it makes sense. Because it fills a gap. Because we need it. We’re Indians, damn it. Students of chaos theory. We don’t have the time to say silly things like ‘Could you please bring the meeting forward.’”

He makes a good argument, except for the fact that we hardly ever prepone anything. We’re masters at postponing, delaying and deferring. But we’d sooner wear dentures than call our dentist and say, “Is it possible to prepone my appointment?”

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more]

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