Post No. 9562

Date uploaded in London – –3 May   2021           

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this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,

Though I didn’t agree with all the views in the editorial, I enjoyed the last two paragraphs. I kept this paper cutting for 27 years and I now happily throw it in the dustbin.

Here is the editorial:-

Beyond Hobson -Jobnson

There are few things more Indian than English.

As our Delhi correspondent reports today ,prickly Indian nationalists are at war with the English language . The advertisements of Pepsi Cola and other Western companies are accused of causing all that is corrosive of Indian moral and spiritual substance. This problem has existed, in some form or other, for many centuries: Macaulay’s robust Minute of 1835 averred that ‘English is better worth knowing than Sanskrit or Arabic ‘and who could challenge him? But the modern cavalry charge, led by Hindi speaking politicians from the north of the country, is a piece of cultural vandalism that could endanger the economy too.

English, as spoken as a first language by over 40 million Indians at a conservative estimate, has taken root in the soil like a venerable banyan tree. The novelist Raja Rao wrote in ‘Kantharupa’ – a century after Macaulay— that Indian English’ has to be a dialect which will someday prove to be as distinctive and colourful as the Irish and the American. it has proved that distinctness resoundingly and is India’s intellectual vehicle today.

India and English have a symbiotic relationship. If India has a cast iron asset in the rugged world of commercial intercourse, it is its pool of skilled English speaking people. This gives the country its greatest competitive advantage; its technicians enjoy a mobility unhampered by language and foreign investors have not the headache of teaching their own nationals a formidable new tongue.

The juggernaut of English viewed with paranoia by the French and others , works entirely in India’s favour.The English language , too has profited from its adoption by the Indian sub-continent, Indians, with more than one language and culture, have woven a complex cloth with English thread. Grammatical forms and usage are often unique to Indian speakers of the language. But it is  in the  area of vocabulary and idioms that the surest mark has been made. English will be forever grateful for jungle and shampoo; and there are a thousand others. Numerous, too are the words intelligible to Indians alone; there are dacoiits, eve teasers and four twenties galore in mofussil areas , who if nabbed by the jawans, will be thrashed with lathis. And the jawans will only be doing the needful.

Yet nothing is more distinctive about Indian English than the manner of its pronunciation. That it is rhotic and syllable timed, and it’s speakers tend to geminate voiceless inter vocalic obstruents is not important. As proprietors of their own tongue. They are entitled to mould it to Indian cadences English is an Indian language, and English is richer for it. Those who wish to rid their country of it are three hundred years too late.

——The Times Editorial, May 20, 1994


Language Quotations

Language is an ever evolving entity. There are rules, but the rules bend and break, depending on usage. New words are created through abbreviation, conflation,misunderstanding and poetic invention.

Richard Herring , Metro, 25-1-2013


English language is a mongrel !

The English language is a mongrel created by thousands of years of invasion and immigration. Most of our words are appropriated from other languages. So to complain about us adopting a few American words, after giving them so many, is plane stupid.

Richard Herring , Metro, 25-1-2013


Horrible Hand writing of Byron and Charles Dickens

The Royal collection in Britain is held in various Royal buildings such as

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and palace in Scotland

There are lots of letters and manuscripts, often written in a semi -illegible hand.  A page by the novelist Charles Dickens is almost impossible to read, but the most abominable hand writing is undoubtedly that of the romantic poet Lord Byron, who tended to have a few drinks to spur on creative imagination and who then sat down to write fast and furiously through the night.

The  Royal collection also has an essay written by the Queen when she was 11 year old. The essay by the present queen was written in 1937, when she was eleven , and describes the coronation of her parents in London Westminster abbey.

Source – a museum of the British monarchy BBC topical report 7-3-1990

Xxx subham xxx

Tags- Indian English, Times Editorial, Mongrel, Byron, Dickens’ handwrining.

Head or Foot? Poet Byron Anecdote (Post No.5299)

compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 8 August 2018


Time uploaded in London – 9-05 am  (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5299


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

During one of Hobouse’s visit to Byron—Hobhouse was a College friend— at his villa near Genoa, and whilst they were walking in the garden, his lordship suddenly turned upon his guest, and, apropos of nothing, but always having his deformity in his mind exclaimed,
Now I know Hobhouse, you’re looking at my foot!
Upon which Hobhouse kindly replied,
My dear Byron, nobody thinks of or looks at anything but your head.





DIED ON April 19, 1824

Age at death 36



1807 Hours of Idleness

1809 English Bards and Scotch Reviewers

1812-18 Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

1813 The Bride of Abydos

1817 Manfred

1818 Beppo

1819-24 Don Juan

1821 Cain

1822 The Vision of Judgement




Lord Byron was a leading poet of the 19th Century English Romantic Movement. His life was almost as colourful as those of the moody, mysterious heroes of his poems.

George Gordon Noel Byron was born in London but spent his first troubled years in Scotland. When Byron was three, his father died, after spending his mother’s fortune, and Byron and his mother faced hardships. But at ten, he inherited a great uncle’s title and estates. Later he attended the prestigious Harrow School and Cambridge University. Byron’s first published poems, ‘Hours of Idleness’, appeared when he was nineteen and were strongly criticized. Byron responded with ‘English Bards and Scotch Reviewers’, a satirical poem attacking the major literary figures of the time.

At 21 Byron began a two-year grand tour through Southern Europe to Turkey. These travels inspired ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’, a long poem about a world weary young lord’s journey through a Europe in need of reforms. The handsome author’s gloomy passion and pleas for justice and liberty attracted women admirers.

At 26 Byron married Annabella Milbanke. She soon left him, shocked by Byron’s affair with his half -sister Augusta. The disgrace made Byron leave England, aged 28.

In Italy, he had new love affairs and wrote his master piece ‘Don Juan’, a long, witty poem about a handsome man’s adventures with women. Byron also began ardently supporting Italian and Greek freedom from foreign control. He joined an Italian secret society and was leading Greek troops against Turks when he caught a fever and died.




Bernard Shaw, Shelley, Byron Swimming Anecdotes (Post No.4396)

Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 14 NOVEMBER 2017


Time uploaded in London- 18-26



Post No. 4396

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Although unable to swim Shelley was forever invading pools and streams…. one day when Trelawney, a powerful swimmer, jumped into a deep pool in the Arno, Shelley immediately jumped in after him and lay ‘like a conger eel on the bottom’ till Trelawney fished him up with great difficulty, Shelley protesting as soon as he could breathe that ‘truth lay always at the bottom of the well’ and that in another minute I should have found it.



Impressing upon his class an admiration for notable feats of physical prowess the teacher related the experience of a vigorous man who swam three times across a broad river in the morning, before breakfast.

There was a giggle from one of the youngsters in the class.

“Well”, said the teacher with some irritation

“What is that it seems so amusing? I see nothing amusing”.

“It’s only this sir, replied the pupil

I was wondering why he didn’t make it four times and get back on the side where he left his clothes”.



Swimming in the Desert!

A certain American soldier, attached to one of the American Tank units fighting with the British in the Libyan campaign, had been carried by the exigencies of the service many miles deep into the heart of desert with his comrades. This outpost of the Front had been quiet for days. The soldier found himself one afternoon with a few hours leave.

It was with some surprise that his commanding officer spotted the man striding purposefully across the sands clad in his bathing trunks.

“Murphy! Shouted the officer in some astonishment. Where in blazes do you think you are going?”

Why, sir, said the soldier, I just thought while I had a couple of hours off I would take a dip in the surf.

Are you crazy? demanded the officer. The ocean is 500 miles from here!

“Beautiful big beach, isn’t it?” said the soldier.




Shelley- Byron Argument!

The greatest and most mysterious of all Shelley s preoccupation s was with water, boat and swimming. He was apparently fascinated by water as a great element, and time and again prophesied his death by drowning. But it was typical of Shelley’s humourless absolutism where his fancy was involved that he was without fear in the business, and never troubled to learn either to navigate or to swim.


In 1816 the friendship that sprang up with Byron at Geneva was based partly on mutual literary admiration, and partly on their common love of boating. Byron knew something of sailing and navigation and they took a trip together around the lake in an open boat. They nearly foundered in a sudden storm one night. After Byron, had got the sail down and while the water poured in and the wind roared in darkness, they sat in furious argument, Byron, proud of his power as a swimmer, declaring that he would save Shelley when they sank, Shelley equally determined that he would not be saved.



Following was published by me under the 15 Anecdotes from Bernard Shaw’s Life

G B Shaw Helped a youth


Bernard Shaw was enjoying a swim in a pool during a stay in South Africa; so were some boys who knew nothing of the august author one small boy was “dared” by his playmates to “duck the old man” for a Shilling. He accepted, but when he was close to his victim, panic seized him. Shaw turned, saw the youngster, and asked him what he wanted. In halting accents, the boy revealed the plot and the shilling bet.

“Well”, said Shaw, looking sternly at the youngster, “if you wait a moment while I get my breath, I will let you push my head under water.

He did, and the small boy swam back triumphantly to collect his shilling.




Stubbornness and Vanity Anecdotes (Post No.3579)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 26 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 19-28


Post No.3579



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General Grant was known for his tenaciousness. Having once taken a place he never surrendered it.  Abraham Lincoln once commented on this to General Butler, saying,

“When General Grant once gets possessed of a place he seems to hang on to its if he had inherited it”.



How to control Mules?

A man who was extremely successful in dealing with mule teams was once was asked by General Booth of the Salvation Army, how he managed the stubborn creatures

Well, General, explained the man,

“When they stop and won’t go on I just pick up a handful of soil and put it in their mouths. Of course, they spit it out, but as a rule they start on”.

Why do you think it has the effect?, asked the General.

“Well, I don’t know, but I expect it changes the current of their thoughts”, the mule driver replied.



Vanity anecdotes

Byron’s vanity

Scrope Davies was on very intimate terms with many great men of the period, and he had such admiration for the author of Don Juan, Byron, that he could gain admission to his rooms at all hours . On one occasion, he found the poet in bed with his hair “en papillote”, upon which Scrope cried in great glee.

“Ha, ha, Byron , I have at last caught you acting the part of the Sleeping Beauty.”

Byron, in a rage, exclaimed ,

“No Scrope; the part of a damned fool, you should have said”.

Upon which Scrope answered ,

“Anything you please, but you have succeeded admirably in deceiving your friends, for it was my conviction that your hair curled naturally” .

“Yes, naturally every night; but do not, my dear Scrope, let the cat out of the bag, for I am as vain of my curls as a girlfriend sixteen.”