Grammar Lessons From Shashi Tharoor

by xploring india


Use of the word “Presently” (frequent among Indians)

- Presently means “soon” and not “now”. - Incorrect use: “I am doing this presently” - Correct usage: “I will be there presently”

Weirdly enough, incorrect usage of a word for a long time actually makes it widely acceptable, says Shashi.

Use of the word “momentarily” (frequent among Americans)

- Momentarily means “for a moment” and not “in a moment” - Correct usage: “She was confused momentarily” - Incorrect usage: “my husband will be here to pick me up momentarily”

Use of the word “importantly”

While agreeing with the fact that it might sound a bit pedantic, Shashi says that “importantly” is incorrect. Important being an adverb need not be suffixed with “ly”

“importantly” is superfluous

Incorrect usage: “Most importantly I believe the organization needs to leverage its key resources” Correct usage: “Most important, I believe the organization needs to leverage its key resources”

Confusing “reticent” with “reluctant”

Reticent is used only when a person is reluctant to speak Correct usage: “When I questioned him, he was reticent” Incorrect usage: “He was reticent to take ten steps forward”

Use of the word “revert”

One of the many Victorian phrases that stuck with us. Revert essentially refers to “return to a previous state” Incorrect usage: “I shall revert to you” Correct usage: “Ice reverts to water”

Pronouncing the word “Pronunciation”

Right: Pro-nun-ciation Wrong: Pro-noun-ciation

Pronouncing the word “Asthma”

Right: Azma Wrong: as-tha-ma

Pronouncing the word “Epitome”

Right: Epi-tuh-mee Wrong: Epi-tome

Pronouncing the word “Plumber”

Right: Plummer Wrong: Plum-ber

Pronouncing the word “Hyperbole”

Right: High-Puh-Buh-Lee Wrong: Hy-per-bole

The sole purpose of a language is the communication of ideas and information which is why "mugging up a dictionary" might not be your best bet.

We agree with Tharoor!