The English as she is written

My mother once came home from work howling in glee over a leave application one of her colleagues had submitted for her “kind consideration and favorable action”. It read, in relevant part: “Dear most respected madam: As my wife is dangerous and I am the only husband to look after her, I request… et cetera.”

On a related note, I found this in my mailbox just now:

Honourable Sir/Madam,
With due respect, I Submit few lines for your kind consideration. I Have come to know through reliable
that you are devoted service for  the  well being of human rights.

I Have poor family my children are going his school and college.

If you would not help us then Education will remain incompletely.

Incidentally I may Submit that I Have a large . poor family .

Therefore  there  is nofinancial support for me.please financial help me ,I will not only be a great relief to a poor family but will also be a great act of charity on your honour part. I am waiting your favourable reply.

I Respect you please help mefor purpose of this letter and  not disappoint me.



13 thoughts on “The English as she is written

  1. So this is the new “Nigerian dictator’s money” dig. Got a mail like this yesterday. Lots of gratitude for Gmail spam detectors which sort such trash and do not let it infiltrate the inbox. However, reading them is quite fun.

    • Or thereabouts. Thought it was a change, both thematically and syntactically, from the usual glut of mails from former dictators who are desperate to find a new home for their pocket change.

  2. I dont think it was wrong to put the letter on the blog. It might not have been spam but there is hardly a word that identifies anyone – no name nothing.. not even city is revealed.

  3. I don’t know about this letter. This person may be really poor and I don’t find the letter funny.

    But what I do funny is when I looked at my own Resume that I made just after graduating over 15 years ago. I called it ‘Bio-Data ‘ as most Indians did in those days and probably still do. I had my father’s name ,religion, Hobbies many other irrelevant information not required to apply for a job. Look back I consider it a miracle that I got a job with that kind of a resume or may be I was competing with others who also had similar nonsensical resume.

    The larger problem is with the Indian Education system. Even University graduates lack in verbal and written communication skills. It is all good to say that India has the largest pool of English speaking graduates. What is not being said is that the corporates that hire these graduates have to train them to bring their communication skills that to level that is needed. The good thing these young graduates pick up very fast whenever companies that invest in provide such basic training.

    • Before somebody else points out. The last line should have read “But On the bright side , The good thing is that these young graduates pick up very fast whenever companies invest in providing such basic training.”

    • Rahul, please note: Nowhere in this letter is there anything that can identify the letter. Interesting that you identify the Indian education system as the larger problem — which it undoubtedly is. Except, in this case, it has nothing to do with the case, since the writer is not even an Indian, the letter does not originate in India.

      I do not find poverty funny — but that is not to say I cannot see the lighter side when such things land up in my mailbox. As for whether it is spam or no — “undisclosed recipients” is almost invariably a red flag for me.

  4. I agree with Prashant.

    It may very well be spam but establish that first before putting this on the blog. While the line quoted above from the leave application is genuinely funny, this entire e mail is not even funny.

    It is not about poor = broken language but poor (as in financially) + broken language.

  5. I never mentioned that poor = broke.

    All i said was (and i quote) ‘poor person’ without formal education in English – So, i am referring to those poor people who do not know or had formal education in English. The same is implied when i said that “poor people need to resort to funny … language”

  6. Prashant

    You need to a be a tad less touchy. Has it ever occured to you that this might be spam? Also I believe your arguement of poor = broken language is wrong.

    I may be broke but still have English as my bitch.

  7. I don’t find this funny. It may be from a genuinely ‘poor person’ without formal education in English. Its an irony that we don’t have proper email clients for emailing in regional language.And poor people need to resort to – what may appear funny to you – language.

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