Saturday, May 28, 2011

How "space" can change everything..

Now, it's a known fact that English is a funny language. But, on occasions, it is so funny that one hyphen, or a space for that matter, can change the meaning of a word on its head !! And on these very occasions, English ceases to be funny anymore. One of the word is 'resigning' and when you include a space or hyphen, it becomes 're-signing / re signing'.

I thought of doing some research (Read: Google) on this and this is what I found.

The dictionary meaning of resignation is: "a formal statement, document, etc., stating that one gives up an office, position, etc. or an accepting, unresisting attitude, state, etc.; submission; acquiescence: to meet one's fate with resignation". Sometimes I feel even a dictionary should have a sub dictionary explaining the meaning of each and every word used in the meaning of the word we just checked for. The dictionary meaning of re-sign (as you all know very well) is: "to sign again. or to renew or extend a contract". 

Here's an example from the recent assembly elections: Karunanidhi resigned from his post as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu whereas Tarun Gogoi re-signed for yet another term.
Confused about which door to choose?

I am sure there are many more words like "resign / re sign". Despite the flaws, English is still accepted throughout the world. Wonder why? Even our Chinese friends are learning English to eliminate the core competence that we Indians have in the outsourcing industry.

Now that got me thinking, if English can be accepted with all its flaws, why can't we be accepted with / without the space we need? Something to think about, huh? 

So, the next time you say you need your space, think again. What you meant to say might be totally different from what the recipient actually perceived.


  1. LOL, that's truee.. and i often face such xperiences with english :D :)

  2. and.. you are tagged in this post :)

  3. Hey thanks Vidya... I am sure there are many more words.. :)


All yours..

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