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You Know Habits Die Hard

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Thyagarajan, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello: YOU KNOW HABITS DIE HARD :hello:


    My late dad was often telling me practise to write less to convey more. While he was speaking less to convey more, I was always keen to use as many words as possible while writing and speaking.

    When I stayed away from home during the era that had not heard of Internet or smartphone or simple mobile, the only way to communicate with dad was inland letter card.

    When I began using bombastic language to impress dad with my word power, he was content writing a post card hardly any white or grey space left out.

    “Brevity is the essence of communication or correspondence” he told, citing the example “Quit India” Of the Father of The Nation.

    He used to say often, that If one's aim is to reach the lowest of the low, his or her communication to them should be naturally in simplest words or phrases as the layman is not interested in joining your party as he has not understood your communication. He further added that the communication should be lucid and straight and avoid circumscribed sentences keeping in mind the literacy level of target audience.

    This our country politicians understood well.

    Dad took great care in placing punctuation marks especially the full stop. He said that redundancy and superfluous statements to be avoided.

    Dad was mentioning of a reprieve case where the Governor of the state was to take a decision and convey it in few hours before the time arrives for the prisoner to be sent to gallows.

    As Governor was camping outside the capital of the state during pre Internet era, he communicated his decision to jail superintendent by wire. The wire message received in good time and the hangman freed the prisoner who sought reprieve from being hanged.

    Later when Governor came to know that the prisoner was not hanged, he was quite taken aback. He had dictated wire message as “HANG HIM. NOT LEAVE HIM” but in telegraph office transmitted the message as HANG HIM NOT. LEAVE HIM”.

    A switch in placing the stop at a different place in the sentence proved quite lucky indeed for the prisoner.

    He would begin the letter-writing always with a tamil letter ”உ” written at the centre top of the page or post card or inland letter card. When I asked him, why for it, he advised that it is better to begin the letter with prayer to Lord Ganesha so intent of contents of the letter remains positive to all concerned.

    When I was nine, He would insist that I read always bit loudly, especially the text books. Though I reluctantly followed his instructions in this regard, later I realised the importance and benefits. I was walking hither & thither, by-hearting loudly a passage containing the word “miscellaneous” loudly. When I read for fourth time, he softly corrected me of its pronunciation. I Was pronouncing it incorrectly as “miss-kell-Ya-noss”.

    When I heard English to Tamil dictionary was available at a discount with the LIFCO press, I walked the distance from Triplicane to T Nagar and purchased it for for ₹4.50 saving ₹0.50. When dad came to know of this, I remembered that night he massaged my calf muscles.

    But the dictionary use was largely in his hands juxtaposed with the THE Hindu Editorials. Later I clung to his habit that made me familiar with newer words which facilitated easy taking down short-hand dictation at the institute in summer mornings.

    I learnt correct pronunciation of many words from dad. Even to this day, Facade, mote, fledgling etc are the words as and when I come across, it would remind me of my dad.
    He was fond of coffee to the point of addiction. At home or hotel, he would always share a fraction of it with me. I continued the same habit with my son and spouse and daughter.

    Dad while reading anything, he would make small pencil dot corresponding to that passage and gently top fold that page corner and then leisurely in one go look for the meaning of the words in those passages. I too followed the same habit and later wondered how that habit enriched my recognition and functional vocabulary.

    During my pliable age, dad taught me all this and you know habits die hard.
     
    Anusha2917, Agathinai, Srama and 8 others like this.
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  2. messedup

    messedup Platinum IL'ite

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    Good habits should never die but the bad ones should be taken care of. :thumbup:
     
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  3. Sinant

    Sinant Silver IL'ite

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    Beautiful post sir. It made me nostalgic for many many reasons :blush:
     
  4. kaluputti

    kaluputti Gold IL'ite

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    This is why this works the best..... 0c3b6490403c7f4ce5c8737653a8cf0c.jpg
     
  5. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Very right. About punctuation marks, I don't remember the name of the great author who used to send his manuscript along with complete list of puctuations marks witha request to place them wherever required.
    And who can forget about late Morarji, our PM. Some officer used to address as Morarji Ji . He got a telegram from his superior not to add ji. He started addressing only as Morar.
     
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  6. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    The one-vertical-line and two of Sanskrit predates the scheme of punctuation of the languages of Europe. However, whenever history is written and revealed, it is always eurocentric; here is another example:

    General history: A history of punctuation in English | Unravel Magazine
    Keith Houston of the BBC has a rather intricate and detailed timeline for this history of punctuation (which this article will follow). As he notes, the earliest prominent use of any punctuation was in the 3rd century BC. Aristophanes had offered a solution to the completely run-on writing style of the Greeks, which featured spaces between letters, words, clauses, or sentences. Aristophanes proposed that writers use three types of dots to allocate the appropriate pause between formal parts of speech. A dot located in the bottom denoted a short pause like a comma, the middle was for an intermediate pause like a colon, and the bottom was for a pause much like a full stop. With this, a reader would know when to pause and for how long to produce cohesive and understandable speech.

    Alas, the Aristophanean method was eventually scrapped when the Roman empire gained precedence over the Greeks from their politics to their writing. The Romans, namely Cicero, believed the speaker should exert discretion over his or her rhythm of speech and not be bound by dots or punctuation.
    <back to Amulet>
    The oriental languages (Chinese, classic-Korean, Japanese ) did not delineate words with spaces until recently. Formal writings in Chinese (like official invitations to functions and such) still use the same scheme of uniform spaces between LETTERS, and for the novice it is very hard to decipher where one WORD ends a n d a n o t h e r b e g i n s.:frown::facepalm:

    The OP would remind many the automotive disclaimer "YMMV", viz., your mileage may vary., that is now so popular in the social media responses to individual autobiographicals.
    dictionary: written abbreviation for your mileage may vary: used, for example onsocial media and in text messages and emails, to mean that you understand people may have a different opinion or experience to yours​
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  7. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Your article is nostalgic.We could not afford to buy the Hindu,Three families shared.The paper will come to us in the evening. Appa used to show Kamadhenu ( as a child I used to say 'Kama nenu" )and tell that the paper would give everything you want.We never read the paper without a dictionary and used to write new words learnt then and there. Appa taught us to use the words in sentences of our own so that we may not forget. That is how we sisters had a flair for English.
    While in college I had to change a lot. While father insisted on simple concise writing with clarity, English lecturer Mrs.Sarada used to saythat we can learn all extensive areas of a a language only on improving our vocabulary and especially while writing critical character appreciation we were advised to use luxury in exuberance and just for getting the highest mark we used to quote extensively from other texts, even from Tamil and sanskrit.
    When I got first prize in an essay competition, Appa read it and said 'Not So great as to deserve the prize. It should have been simpler in expression.
    Punctuation horror was a topic in itself with bursts of laughter.

    Thanks for kindling nostalgia
    Jayasala 42
     
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  8. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

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    Very true. My brother also would say write less. He is very systematic. Even while buying he will select fast.

    Good to have a dad like yours.
     
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  9. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:Thank you for posting the substance hidden in the post!
    It has been stated in behavioural science books that a habit can be acquired in doing it by 21 times. This is the upper limit and some be successful in less number of practising it.
    A habit picked once, would be difficult to eschew like smoking and drinking (bad ones) getting up early and eating at a particular time (beneficial)....
    Thanks and Regards.
     
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  10. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:thank you .
    2. you "seemed to have read between the lines" of the post. I am glad it turned out nostalgic for you for numerous reasons .
    3. Would appreciate a couple of it you share here for benefit of our followers.
    4. Thanks for the brilliant befitting upanishad quote in green background the colour highlighting the prosperity.
    God- when Bhakthi and Devotion becomes habit in one would you spare him or her?
     
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