Saturday, August 14, 2010


(Continued from the last post A Tongue Of The Slip

The power of the tongue is aptly illustrated by this anecdote: Once a gaggle of women were taken on a sight-seeing tour of the 'Niagara Falls.' The tour guide, after explaining all about the falls, finally announced, "Now , ladies, if you can interrupt your talking just for 10 seconds, you can hear the mighty roaring sound of the Niagara."
With this backdrop, it was no wonder that a garrulous aunt of mine was fondly called 'Tongue-sten' within the family circle for her rapid-fire blabber like the outburst of a stengun.
When we refer to the first language we learnt from childhood, we call it the mother-tongue and never the father-tongue(poor father!) even though it is the father who gives the tongue-lashing when the children play mischief. So, when we talk of the mother-tongue, I always remember the story of a lady candidate seeking a job, who, in her application form, had mentioned her mother- tongue as 'Spench.' When questioned about this at the interview, she replied, "My maternal grandfather spoke Spanish and the granny spoke French. So my mother speaks a combination of the two, which I call 'Spench'. Explaining further she said, "Since my my father's mother-tongue is German, my children's mother tongue is going to be 'Spenchman'.
And finally, when the General Elections come, look at what happens. Politicians click their tongues having tasted the spoils of power hoping for more. They approach the electorate with their tongues hanging out, drooling at the mouth, trying to catch your fancy with tongue-twisting slogans such as 'Cast costly crosses(X) to cobble credible class-creed-class crusade'. Like snakes in the grass with their bi-pronged tongues, they will promise you the moon only to retract later. When that happens, don't be tongue-tied. Loosen your tongue and speak your mind out. Then elect the right one(if you can find any) and stick your tongue out at the rest.
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