Sunday, November 8, 2009

Burmese Indians

I watched Motor Sundaram Pillai a long long time ago, but what I remember most from it is that Sivaji Ganesan used to have a factory in Burma. I have come across several references to the cultural and trading connections between Burma and India not only in articles but also in familial anectodes, mostly recalling the days of the Raj.

With pro-democracy protests and a military junta in rule, I wondered if there were any Indian-origin people still in Burma. A Google later there was a Wikipedia article, an Atlantic article from 1958 and a Time article from 1964.

Effective way of arguing

Internet discussion is all about disagreeing with one another, denigration is uncommon and unavoidable at times.

This image(click for larger view) coaxes us not to degrade ourselves and judge the efficacy of other comments. It is a one-stop guide to countering another person's argument - maintain the upper hand at all times.

Original text written by Paul Graham and image Loudacris. Image used via CC3.0.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mrs vs Ms vs Mz

In a social gathering, referencing other people is easy amongst peers - you could even say 'that guy' or just call him by name, 'Bala'. With elders, though, it is difficult with the elderly ladies. I've always had a bit of hesitation in naming a person - 'Who prepared this dish?' 'Ms/Mrs XY'.

Depending on their marital status, the answer can vary: the Guardian style guide says use Ms unless they have specified Miss or Mrs; Time magazine in a non-article says anything is fine.

There is one more specific: British speakers tend to pronounce Ms as Mz, indicating their current marital status is 'unknown'. I've heard it a couple of times on TV shows, so at last there seems to be a solution: Mz.