The H Factor

by Kavita

This is a sample question of a 1st standard student in a school in New Delhi, India.The problem in north India is, that some people pronounce “Sh”. So, instead of “Shock” it will sound like “Sock”.

The student in the examination paper sample above fell victim to this common mistake. The examiner assumed that the student says the name incorrectly. Hence the correct name(according to the examiner) is “Shrinivasan”. Little did the examiner realise that the student could spell and speak perfectly :).

Here’s another scenario where the letter “H’ seems to be a favorite. Indian names end mostly with a vowel sound. Like “Sujata”, “Vinita”, “Amrita”, “Pratik” etc. These names are common across the country. Mostly everything is fine with these names in the northern part. They are written as shown above. But travel a little down south, you would notice a very commonly accepted way of writing these names. They sound like “Thailand”, “Father” or “Thimpu”.

One can almost guarantee that even if your birth certificate says “Sujata Subramanian”, your banker in this part of the country will send an account statement for “SujatHa Subramanian”.

There is no point in debating over what is right (even if you can prove your point). What is strange is that people don’t read proper-nouns. They “want” to write it their way. Ignoring that it can lead to unimaginable issues with the obscene amount of paper work involved everywhere.

Maybe we should sometimes just copy and not think.