Thursday, November 24, 2005


The cracks are showing...

The headline on Outlook's cover of November 28 reads Abu Salem cracks up... but slowly

I think the usage of 'cracks up' is wrong in this case.

As a noun, crack-up (note the hyphen) means suffer a breakdown.

As a verb (the way in which Outlook uses it), it means to appreciate a good joke.

I would imagine Abu Salem has very little to laugh about.


asdf ;lkj

The keys go clickety clack. People are still learning to use type-writers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The gun and the gag

Abu Salem wants a ban on the media.

"Salem had prayed for an inquiry by I & B secretary into media reports about him and his girl friend which, he said, were "totally baseless". He also prayed that the inquiry should also find out on what basis such reports were put out.

"According to Salem’s prayer before the court, the respondents (including the government) be directed to impose a total ban on such reports appearing in the media, which talk about investigations being conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), the PTI report stated."


I wonder what their KRAs were...

Delhi doubles the salaries of MLAs to bring it on par with ministers.


Some faulty detection

Which is India's top detective agency?

According to the BBC, it's the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)


Chhatees ka aakda

"Thackeray lives in kachra suburb", screams a Mid-Day headline today. The article is about a BMC survey that has found Bandra (East) to be the dirtiest place in Mumbai.

Sure Bal Thackeray lives in Bandra (East). As do thousands of others. So, what's the point of the headline?

Is it that he is a leader of the Shiv Sena, which rules BMC along with the BJP? I can already imagine the headliine if Bandra (East) was the cleanest suburb while the rest of the city rotted.

I seem to have caught the Mid-Day bug about Hindi headlines.

Monday, November 21, 2005


What will Bal Mama say?

Mid-Day reports that the daughter of Vilas Gupte, Bal Thackeray's nephew, got married to a doctor -- a Muslim.

According to the bridegroom’s younger brother, Mohammad Qayoom, the bride has converted to Islam.

The question is: Will he, won't he bless the couple?


Pop goes the language

"What makes a word a pop word? First of all, we're not talking mere clichés. Most pop phrases are indeed clichés -- that is, hackneyed or trite. But a pop phrase packs more rhetorical oomph and social punch than a conventional cliché. It's the difference, say, between It's as plain as the nose on your face and Duh, between old hat and so five minutes ago. Pop is the elite corps of clichés."

An excerpt from the book, Slam Dunks and No Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics, and Like, Whatever, by Leslie Savan. There's also a quiz to test your pop language skills, designed by the author.

Link via A Capital Idea


A wing and a prayer

An 87-year-old man builds a plane. Takes it for a spin. The engine dies on him. So, he lands on a four-lane highway

I lucked out, he said. So did many others.

Link via Fark.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Odd! Where the devil is it?

In my RSS reader, I got a Reuters Oddly Enough news feed about the first day of school for students for a course run by a Vatican University. It teaches students to be demonologists and exorcists.

When I clicked the link, I got a page with the message "We're sorry... this story is not available".

Strange. Odd.

Then I searched on Google, and here's the cache of the story

Makes for interesting reading.

Sample this quote:

"There is no doubt that the devil is intervening more in the life of man these days," Father Paolo Scarafoni told the students, most of them priests who want to learn how to tackle the demon if they should ever encounter him.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Don't fail! Just defer success

Global Language Monitor lists the top politically incorrect words for 2005.

Sample these:

"Misguided Criminals for Terrorist:The BBC attempts to strip away all emotion by using what it considers neutral descriptions when describing those who carried out the bombings in the London Tubes."

"Thought Shower or Word Shower substituting for brainstorm so as not to offend those with brain disorders such as epilepsy."

"Deferred Success as a euphemism for the word fail. The Professional Association of Teachers in the UK considered a proposal to replace any notion of failure with deferred success in order to bolster students self-esteem."

"Womyn for Women to distance the word from man."


Great bargains on books

Fabmall has some really great bargains on books. Some superb classics for under Rs 60.
Grab it!

Update: There's a Rs 25 shipping charge per book. They are still worth it, though.


Hindi mein jaankaari ke liye...

Headlines in Mid Day, Mumbai, this Saturday:

1. Darna mana hai (Page 1 lead)
2. Sirf bees minute (Page 4 lead)
3. Hello! Abu Salem bol raha hoon (Two-page special, 6 & 7)
4. 'Approver ban-ne par pura sahyog karoonga' (Page 9 lead)
5. Yeh kya ho raha hai (Page 16, top of the page box)
6. Kabhi Hussey kabhi gham (Page 20, Sports)

Also spotted

1. Meri khubhsoorti ka raaz (Page 2)
2. Yeh Dil maange moore (Page 12)


Friday, November 18, 2005


Great pun or stupid typo? You tell

There's a raging debate in our office, with opinion equally divided, on whether this CNN ad contains a stupid typo or it's the work of a creative genius. Your say?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Hitting axe on own leg

That's what Chennai's moral and cultural 'custodians' have done by raising a ruckus over Khushoo's comments on pre-marital sex.
Khushboo's comments have now got far more publicity than they bargained for, and has also been endorsed by Suhasini, the Miss Universe, Sania Mirza and Narain Karthikeyan.


Mirror, mirror... against the wall

Sam Dastoor, the publisher of Mumbai Mirror, the tabloid that accompanies The Times of India, was arrested for publishing a survey on sexual trends in Mumbai.

"Sam Dastoor was arrested on Tuesday morning on the charges of sale of obscene material and sale of obscene objects to young persons before being released on bail."

Obscene object? Well, I didn't get it with my copy.

I wonder why there's a sudden interest in the media about the sexual habits of Indians. A few issues ago, both Outlook and India Today, put a sex survey on their covers. A recent issue of The Week did likewise.

I think sex surveys -- and, of course, advice columns -- are a good way to get some steamy content into your pages.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Gol maal hai, sab gol maal hai

A senior IPS office in Lucknow sees Lord Krishna in a dream. Decides to become a Radha. Wife drags him to court. Said officer comes dressed as woman.

To add to the confusion, Deccan Chronicle goofs up. And brings an international nuclear conspiracy into a marital dispute :)

Note: There are many articles on the page. This post refers to "IPS man dresses as woman"

Friday, November 11, 2005


Hello! Please hand me your money

I have always wondered how people can drive while they are having a conversation on their mobile phone. A young woman in Washington has just raised the bar. She robbed four banks while keeping up a continuous conversation on her cell phone. Her only ally: a handgun.

Elsewhere, an unidentified man in Toronto has politely robbed 29 banks. His only ally: a recipe card.


Gangsta zap!

Has the TOI lost all sense of proportion or do people really care so much about gangsters?
The TOI Mumbai edition devoted six-and-a-half pages, including three-fourths of the front page, to Abu Salem's arrival in the city.
I don't deny that it's pretty important news. But 6+ pages is definitely overkill.


Dear oh deer!

Man thinks his car has hit a deer. Gets down from the car to check, and is relieved to find that he has not. Meanwhile, another car comes along, actually hits a deer, and sends it flying into the first man, breaking his ankle.
The deer is dead. The second driver has vanished.
Link via Fark, as was the previous one.


English as she is goodly spoken

Some funny, some curious, some plain silly English mistakes from around the world.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Times of India gets an apology from The Guardian

The London-based newspaper, The Guardian, apologised to the Jains for calling them notoriously secretive" in an article about Mumbai's newspaper wars.

Monday, November 07, 2005


It's scurrilous

If there was an award for scurrilous reporting, I would give it to DNA for this report on the Mafatlal family dispute.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Gift horse

When a team is down, keep them there. When you are riding high, don’t trip on your shoelaces.

I can understand the value of experimentation, but did we have to rest three of our best performing players, and gift Sri Lanka the match, and much-needed confidence? Couldn’t we have rested a player each in the remaining three matches?

Here was a team completely demoralised by four consecutive losses and instead of rubbing it in, we get into experimentation mode.

Did they forget that a Test series is coming up against the same team?

Friday, November 04, 2005


Panties in a twist

Typos can sometimes be embarrassing.
Like this one:
Quaker Maid Meats Inc. on Tuesday said it would voluntarily recall 94,400 pounds of frozen ground beef panties that may be contaminated with E. coli.
Link via A Capital Idea

Thursday, November 03, 2005


The other Tendulkar

Sample these quotes:

"'If I had a gun, I would still put it to Modi's head. He's a butcher."

"I find increasingly that the media is out to deceive me, me as in the ordinary reader or viewer. There is an organised effort towards that, all raw material is turned into a thriller of some kind, there's a sense of breathlessness... A news event happens once but the impression I get from television is that it happens some 10 or 20 or 100 times. They have to repeat, I understand that, but the repetition often distorts the original. When this happens with issues like rape, we lose our sensitivity to it, it doesn't enrage any longer."

"It [Suketu Mehta's Maximum City] purports to be reality because he appears to have done journalistic exploration but it's a misleading book, full of half-truths and perceptions that don't hold ground. It's a very dangerous one to my mind because it gives the impression of Mumbai as if it was a realistic one; it's not."

That's Vijay Tendulkar, playwright and author, in an interview with Outlook

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