Minding the Language

You don’t have to live in Islamabad long to notice how Pakistani-English has its own charming variations. Some are leftovers of a bygone age. Others are infathomable. And I’m sure there are plenty more to discover…

  • Why not? – the cheery response to any request, no matter how outlandish. Makes the heart warm
  • Miscreant – gentle term reserved for the very worst offender, usually an al Qaeda operative or murderer just gunned down by police as he attempts to escape (see encounter)
  • Encounter – any occasion when police kill a suspected miscreant (usually after they have overpowered officers during escape attempt). Known as extra-judicial killings in more pedantic places
  • What is your good name? – another heartwarming phrase that always makes me smile during any protracted bureaucratic exchanges
  • The wee hours – also popular in my last posting, Kenya, making me wonder whether Scottish colonial officers are to blame

Any more?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s