Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Little “issues”, big “issues”

Language and its many contextual nuances are so interesting. Sure, us Indians in America all know that "pass out" means graduated, rubber is eraser, bathrooms are restrooms, baths are showers, notes are bills, bills are checks, brinjals are eggplants, and so on. 

But I was surprised and amused at the same time to see that children/babies are referred as "issues" in Indian English. Now whether it is a slang or used only by a subset of people with issues in life, I have no idea. However, this discovery was as a result of hearing some seemingly hilarious conversations.

They don't have any issues yet. (That's great, right?)

They have been trying to have an issue for a long time now. (What? Are they crazy?)

I am going to have an issue soon.

Are you trying to have an issue?

Yes, yes! We have been married for 5 years now, and have been trying to have issues for the past 6 years.

Okay, I made up the last one. But you get the point. And when I say I don't have any issues with you, I mean it. I neither have troubles with you, nor am I trying to make babies with you.


1 comment:

Nothing said...

Wow, I just had an "aha" moment after reading this because a conversation I had with a neighbour a few years back suddenly makes sense. My aunt does not have children and when I said something about this to the neighbour lady she was all "Oh, so she doesn't have any issues". I was so darn confused. Is she equating children with issues? Well, I guess you can't really argue with that so I found myself agreeing that my aunt doesn't really have "many issues". Then the lady was confused asking me if I meant "many issues" or "any issues", and I go "well, who doesn't have issues". We finally ended the conversation each thinking the other was crazy. Now i understand!!! Despite being an Indian, I swear I did not know this. Thank you so much for the gyan and the laugh :):)