Again only

Colleague- trying to sound prompt - on a call with a new phoren client, with a prospective long term relationship ahead:

We will do the analysis today only


  1. Interesting, the use of the word "only". Is it from the use of "mattum" in Tamizh? Here in Malaysia, there is always the word "what", some sort emphasis. This one comes from the same word in Malay, as used freely in Malay conversation.

    "I did the analysis today, what?" A protest.

    "He knows, what?" A reminder.

    "Don't know what what all he is thinking". This, I think, came from Tamizh. "Enanavoo nenechittu irukkaanoo?".

  2. //Interesting, the use of the word "only". Is it from the use of "mattum" in Tamizh? //
    No. Not at all.
    It is a patently North Indian expression. btw the pluralistic SouthIndians deem anything north of Bangalore as one clump: North India.

    "They" use the word 'only' to mean 'itself'. My colleague meant to say he will finish the task rightaway but ended up flummoxing the listener.

    I realize that 'itself' is itself quite patently SouthIndianenglish expression.

    'normal':I did it way back in March
    SI: I did it in March itself
    NI: I did it in March only

    I can kinda understand 'itself', not so much out of proximity as much as it is only an extending the expression and applying it to cases where it is not usually used.

    OTOH 'only' violates the basic relationship between a word and its meaning.

  3. Doug Altie,
    You might want to click here and read the part about Akram(do control-Fs):

    it's very revealing analysis..except that Akram was the kind of bowler who would take 2 wickets in a jiffy, then lost interest rather than batter the line-up with 5-6w like Waqar/Shoaib.

  4. hmm..the North-South interpretations.. quite interesting..and i agree for usage of "itself".. its slips in quite easily in day to day speech..
    for "only" i feel that its used as frequently in South Indian english usage..i am unable to tag it with North Indian English..

    Funnily though, people in North India, club anything below Mumbai as one chunk.. :-)

    I think its just about a madrasi staying in delhi for a while to appreciate how different each part in north india is..
    same as it takes for a punjabi in bangalore..

  5. Nah Calvin..."only" in the usage "Pak beat India in 40 overs only" is exclusively North of the VindhyAs. First time I heard it was when I was in Mumbai from people as far apart as Orissa and Rajasthan !

    Curious how the English usage differences creep in. Down 'South' 1/2 is one by two, but in the 'North' one upon two !

    The clubbing in one chunk happens everywhere. Any south Indian getting offended by a Bihari's inability to know which language is spoken in which Southern state, should first be asked to name the 7 states in the North East.


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