May 11, 2021
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The Shape Of Words To Come

The Shape Of Words To Come

Out there at the Telegraph, Mukul Kesavan offers us "a lexical sampler, a handful of words that are looking for traction, for purchase, in desi usage and sometimes finding it"

modi~fy: to shift the blame for violence on to its victims. Thus, ‘Amit began to modify the history of the Gujarat pogrom in 2002.’ This transference can be helped along by the use of the dangling modi~fier and its uncanny knack of recasting victims as passive-aggressors: ‘Eyes bloodshot, hoarse with vengeful shouting, the ghetto was burnt to the ground by the mob.’ Bloodshot, vengeful ghettoes aren’t likely to attract much sympathy even if they are burnt to the ground.

modi~fication: the parent process, the projected transformation of India into Pakistan. modi~fication can also be used as a generic term for majoritarian transition, the conversion of a country into a state owned by its religious majority. Thus, Sri Lanka under the Rajapakse government becomes a nation where modification is complete...


cap~itulate: to attend a BJP rally in a skull cap.

re~cap~itulate: to attend a BJP rally in a skull cap having previously attended an SP rally in a skull cap...


com~modi~fied: to become communal for a consideration. ‘Some are born communal, some become communal, but most are just commodified’.

Please read the full column at the Telegraph: A Lexical Sampler

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