A widely published writer, Dr. A K Ghosh, has been writing on topics related to education, language, and literature in leading national dailies and journals, mostly in The Statesman, for more than 25 years. More importantly, he is concerned with the plight of English teaching in India and has explored innovative methods for proper teaching of English language at the school level and the creative part of it at the tertiary level in his different articles. Also, he has authored a large number of topics of general interest, research papers, and short stories.
“The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale” (Puck in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream) So was the word aunt anciently applied to any old woman. Aunt has long been an awkward term. In addition to insinuating age, it often adds layers of class and race. In American English, auntie has been recorded as “a term often used in accosting elderly women”. In 1984, a similar use in communist China was noted where auntie meant a maid servant. The Indian usage has evolved rather differently. Before it took a bit of mocking tone given to it today, auntie managed to combine both respect and familiarity, but with a distance. Auntie shows the way of being polite to a distant presence of one who never happens to be ours. Do Indians treat English as auntie tongue? Unfortunately, they do. Their feudal culture frowns on accepting it as a very close one but with a distance. English is an auntie tongue in that it gets laid off at a respectable distance from the inner sanctum of the Indian discursive system. That’s to say, our communication matrix relegates English to the role of an “other” (auntie). Auntie English is an entertaining narrative about English being accepted by Indians as a colonial legacy hanging like an albatross around their necks. Divided into short chapters, this book would take the reader through an amusing journey to show how English has been given an auntie-like treatment in India.
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