Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Without which it could not be!

I heard of Sine qua non for the first time in my life during under graduation when my friend M was still reeling under the pressure of the Barrons’ of the world. We used to have fun trying to pronounce the word, it sounds so rhythmical and lyrical. I soon forgot the word, like how most others would have forgotten their legerdemains and skulduggerys and genuflects as part of the post GRE recuperation phase. However, for a few days now, this word has been haunting me, for no fault of its. It is because I have been subjected to hearing a word (which I later realized is a phrase) very similar to sine qua non.

‘unokina’ is a one of its kind phrase I have never before heard elsewhere. For the uninitiated, that is not the way it is written, that is the way it is pronounced. The ‘u’ and ‘no’ are pronounced as two distinct words while ‘kin’, contrary to popular assumptions, is not pronounced like the one in kith and kin. It is a “betailed” (very similar to beheaded) version of ‘kind’. I presume that the objective of the word is to portray the phrase, ‘you know kind of’.
It is used in all circumstances, whether it does or does not fit in. "unokina we should do it this way", "We should include this factor in the business plan unokina", "I will unokina give you a call to update you on the meeting" are some examples. And, no, I am not exaggerating, these are all real life instances!
unokina has suddenly become such a part and parcel of my life these days that every time I hear it, even if it fits in to the bill perfectly, I want to burst in to peals of laughter. But, long years of penance and practice help me refrain from doing so. After all, we have come across better and funnier gems than this in school and college. No?

Sample these:
Soluvision – meaning solution; don’t even try questioning me on why anyone would want to complicate such a simple word as that, I have no answer
Fold it properly – When you are holding a convex lens in your hand and someone says this to you, you would be slightly confused; it is actually expected to portray the phrase ‘Hold it properly’. It is a different story altogether that from the moment I got to know that a physiological defect causes such a condition in people, I have been gripped with guilt for having made fun of this
Variance analysis – That is straightforward or so you think. Not when ‘Variance’ is pronounced as ‘Ver’ ‘I’ ‘Aans’ in a typical British accent. I accept defeat here. My English is too 'desi' to understand the models (pronounced as ‘ma’ followed by ‘dhal’) and variances of this world

Am not complaining though. Pronouncing words in a way different from normal and reiterating meaninglessly conjoined phrases at an alarmingly high rate of frequency are just some instances that add fun to life, make us look back at our past with fond recollections, very similar to photographs and old school magazines. But, somehow, they help us relive the past much more vividly than by going through albums, slam books, testimonials and the likes.
In some way, they are sine qua non too, that without which life could not be!


Denzil said...

1. Firstly, im patting my own back for not having forgotten those GRE words, post GRE. Trust me , i did not google them now. :D (although I've never used any of them and unlikely to use it ever.)

2. Are you saying that you thought "unokina" is actually a word/phrase similar to latin/french words like sine qua non , faux pass, cart blanche ?

3. It would have been greatly beneficial,you know kind of, for the ignorant masses out there , had you explained you know kind of, how to pronounce sine qua non in a similar fashion as you did with "unokina".

4. Betailed was a nice improvisation, unokina. (OK. I know, im overdoing it now :D )

5. The X (factor) was missing in eXaggerating. I know its a typo, just wanted my comments to reach a you know kind of round number (5)

Kavity said...

@ Denzil: Replies in order of your comments -
1. I know you are a stud as far as your English language skills are concerned, or so tells our friend :)
2. Yes, it has reached such cult level status around here
3. Refer 1 above; you are expected to know :D
4. Thanks :)
5. Now modified. But, when did 5 become a rounder number than 4?

Denzil said...

@ Kavi
1. our friend ariyaadha vayasula puriyaama sollirpaa. adha poi nambitu...

3. See, i dint know that. This proves your (1) is questionable

5. aah..got me. but i know you knew what i meant. :)

Kavity said...

1. and 3. I would still trust our friend's basic instincts; she is good at this kind of stuff.

5. is definitely as "well rounded" as me, no doubts there! :D