An impressionistic history of the
South Asian Subcontinent
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Vol 1 - An ephemeral glance at feudal languages!
20. The spreading of the substandard, and the vanishing of quality
With the spread of Malayalam into Malabar, many kinds of changes entered into social communication. The good parts of Malayalam did not spread into Malabar. At the same time, the vile elements spread.
In those days, in Travancore, there was a bright side in the social communication system. It is that, there was no compulsion to use degrading words like ‘Nee’ (lowest level YOU), ‘Avan, ‘Aval’ (lowest level He/She) &c. to everyone who were found lower in age or in other features, in a most indiscriminate manner.
This writer had the experience of seeing persons who were not familiar terms with school students, addressing them as ‘Ningal’ (middle level YOU).
This was a most astounding item for persons who came from the Malabari language background.
In Alleppy, this writer had seen parents referring to their son or daughter as ‘Ayaal’.
In schools and colleges, there were many occasions wherein the teachers used to mention their students with a Ayaal (Middle level He/She), instead of using the lowest grade words Avan / Aval (lowest grade He/She).
Instead of ‘Nee’ (lowest YOU), there was a noticeable propensity to use slightly higher words like ‘Thaan’, ‘Eyaal’, ‘Ningal’ &c. among the teachers.
What has to be mentioned here is that, even though in Malabari, there was a general tendency to crush down anyone seen to be lower in some attributes, this kind of urges were less in Malayalam.
However, it must be admitted that to persons who were found to be doing various kinds of physical or menial jobs, Malayalam was quite crude.
Beyond that, abusive words, profanities and expletives found in Malayalam were unbelievably vulgar and substandard, as compared to what was there in Malabari. In fact, corresponding usages for such verbal usages were not there at all in Malabari.
The policemen used to shower totally abusive words filled with extremely vulgar profanities in Malayalam to those whom they addressed as Nee (lowest YOU).
This topic is actually a very complicated and deep one. So, this topic is being stopped here.
For, there would be need to mention many words. And then, there would rise the need to mention what all movements, pulls and pushes, they induce on other words.
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