Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TwixT The TweeT and The TainT

To begin with, two-and-a-half weeks into officially being declared an MBA, I am now a “degree” older. Next, I know that I had, in the past, administered ministerial oaths to the effect that I would be henceforth regular in my blogs. But, lack of topics to write on caused my literary skills to strike their abysmal low, and indeed kept the oaths ministerial. They have bottomed out now (or so I hope). The so-called green shoots seem visible from the distance, but the erstwhile crispness of writing may not be yet evident. I guess it would take another ‘learning curve’ before I achieve scale in my blogs. (Management perspectives, yes.)

Two years in Mumbai blazed past at the same pace that the recent two weeks in Trivandrum did. Idleness and boredom are bullish in a city in Trivandrum, for they grow by the day. Hence, entertainment gets confined to business and news channels on TV.
Last month, news channels had an overload of words starting with the letter “T”. An indicative list? Of course. Here goes (in order of appearance):

Tharoor, Twitter, Twenty Twenty, Tunanda Tushkar (I wanted to force-fit this. The typo may be ignored), Thukral, and Tata Tea’s Tion (wildcard entry).

As reads the title of this post, there was many an incident “Twixt the Tweet and the Taint”. A flipside view of the entire episode would be the following:

1) “Right to Tweet” must become a fundamental right.
2) Years down the lane, the author of this blog predicts that “Twitter” and its associated words will find themselves etched in The Oxford and the Websters’ dictionaries (as part of regular English language usage), to indicate “public defamation” of varying nature and intensity. Examples follow:

1) Tweet – verb.
Etymology: 20-20 controversies of 2010. (Ref: Modi, Tharoor, et al.).
Meaning: Speak when not warranted to; defame people by making confidential discussions public, preferably online, mostly in the context of money and auctions.
Contextual usage: Anand wanted the matter to be a secret, but his boss tweeted it out in front of the office members.

2) Twitter – noun.
Etymology: Tharoor.
Meaning: A person who cannot keep a secret, to the extent that he blurts it out on a public platform, real or virtual.
Contextual usage: Please don’t divulge the details to Amit, for the man’s a twitter by birth.

3) Tweeticide – noun.
Etymology: Indian history – Year 2010.
Meaning: Killing one’s career by divulging confidential details on a public platform, either in the real or the virtual world.
Contextual usage: An unnecessary tweeticide it was for his career, the way he exposed his boss through a scrap on Orkut.

4) Tweetomania – noun.
Etymology: Excessive obsession to Twitter.
Meaning: The patient forgets to ask “how do you do?” Rather, immediately after greeting, the question would be “What are you doing now?”
Contextual usage: As the case may be...
Tweet’s all, folks! (P.S: An epilogue follows!)

Epilogue: Tata Tea’s Tion. One of the other words that began with the letter “T”, and did the news rounds this month. The product is Tata Tea’s pilot launch in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in the non-carbonated beverages category. Taste-wise, I am yet to get a hang of it. The product has been doing its pilot since an year now. The sales for the brand have been one-fourth that of Nimbooz for its 250ml variant, but the 400ml variant has been dismal. Flavoured ice-tea is what Tata Tea claims the product is. But, what baffled me even more was the pronunciation of the word. A leading bakery in Trivandrum, which had its entire front elevation draped by posters of Tion, lured me in.

I asked for “Tea-ion” first.
The shopkeeper stared at me with a poker-face.
Wrong way to pronounce the name? Damn.

I tried Tion as in Sion (Read Tayan.)
Poker-face again.

Third, I tried the "Teon" way of saying "tion".
His stare grew stranger, as he raised an eyebrow.

Last, I wanted to try Tion as in superstiTION, or redempTION, but then I gave up!
I went out of the shop and pointed to the scores of TION posters, and exclaimed out loud: “This??!!”

The reply was: “That’s only the posters. The product is yet to reach us.”
“Tweny five bucks…”
“Thank you…”