Benefits of Demonetisation

Demonetisation Is Inconvenient But There Are Some Blessings. Let’s Count ‘Em!

Malavika Vyawahare
The Better India

The government’s demonetization drive has precipitated financial chaos in the country and experts are still divided on the overall impact of the move on the economy.

While the formal economy is reeling under a cash crunch, with 86% of the currency in circulation no longer legal tender, the pinch is also being felt by those involved in illegal activities funded by cash-transactions, and it’s not just terrorists!

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The government has cited combating terrorism as one of the key objectives of  demonetisation. The idea is to make fake notes flowing in from Pakistan, mostly in 500 and 1000 rupee denominations, useless so that black money, an important source of terrorist funding, dries up. The government says this plan is succeeding. Here are some of the silver linings: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has come out in support of the measure and says it will check human trafficking and child slavery in the country. Millions of women and children in India are victims of trafficking. Another illegal business where cash dominates is prostitution. As a fallout of the withdrawal of 500 and 1000 rupee notes, local media outlets are reporting that women offering sex services are asking clients to pay digitally or take a hike. There is no doubt that the move has put a dampener on weddings this season. Many weddings rely on cash expenditures, with gifts and dowry changing hands. Social activists have reason for cheer that dowry giving, a social ill that places a huge financial burden on the woman’s family, may have become difficult as a result of demonetisation.

Some families of bridegrooms have withdrawn or reduced their dowry demands. Weddings have also become less lavish.

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Source: By Yogita (Wedding) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cash transactions also fuel drug dealing so it is no surprise that in the Malda region  of West Bengal, which is a hub of the drug trade, demonetisation has delivered a blow. Smugglers cannot pay opium farmers and buyers are short of cash to purchase drugs. Only time will tell if this is a temporary or permanent setback for the drug mafia. Tax collections by local urban agencies have also registered a huge increase. Data from the Urban Development Ministry shows that the tax collection of 47 local bodies rose by 268% in November 2016 compared to the corresponding period last year. “This is the positive effect of demonetisation. People are clearing up their old dues, paying with Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes. For the urban local bodies, it has meant substantial mopping up of tax collection,” Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told The Hindustan Times. Mumbai-based brokerage Edelweiss Securities Ltd. forecasts that the government’s move will uncover Rs. 3,00,000 crore in black money. Some more optimistic estimates peg the figure at Rs. 4,60,000 crore. “This money can now get utilised for various economic reforms’ funding,” Edelweiss analyst Manoj Bahety told Bloomberg. The gains could help India narrow its budget deficit. It is a chance to plough more money into defence and energy spending or increase spending on social services such as education, health and housing, by as much as three times. If the government does rake in windfall gains, as some economists predict, where should the money be utilised? Leave your suggestions on our Facebook page.

American English Grammer

American English vs. British English

American English is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used within the United States of America. British English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom. Differences between American and British English include pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary (lexis), spelling, punctuation, idioms, and formatting of dates and numbers.

Comparison chart

American English versus British English comparison chart
Edit this comparison chart American English British English
Pronunciation differences Some words pronounced differently in the languages are Methane, Interpol Some words pronounced differently in the languages are Methane, Interpol
Spelling differences flavor, honor, analyze,color etc. flavour, honour, analyse,colour etc.
Title differences Mr. , Mrs. Mr, Mrs
Different meanings ace, amber etc. ace, amber etc.
What is it? American English is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used within the United States of America. British English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom. It is also used in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other Commonwealth regions

History of British vs. American English

The English language was introduced to America through British colonization in the early 17th century. It also spread to many other parts of the world because of the strength of the British empire. Over the years, English spoken in the United States and in Britain started diverging from each other in various aspects. This led to a new dialects in the form of American English.

American vs. British accent

Prior to the Revolutionary War and American independence from the British in 1776, American and British accents were similar. Both were rhotic i.e. speakers pronounced the letter R in hard. Since 1776, the accents diverged but English accent in America has changed less drastically than accents in Britain.

Towards the end of the 18th century, non-rhotic speech took off in southern England, especially among the upper class; this “prestige” non-rhotic speech was standardized, and has been spreading in Britain ever since.

Most American accents, however, remained rhotic.

There are a few fascinating exceptions: New York and New England accents became non-rhotic, perhaps because of the region’s British connections. Irish and Scottish accents, however, remained rhotic.

To be fair, both American and British English have several types of accents and there is no one true American or British accent.

Noah Webster and the Blue-Backed Speller

Even after America gained independence, American schools used textbooks imported from England. Noah Webster, an American lexicographer, nationalist and prolific political writer, found them unsatisfactory. He disliked the influence and control of British aristocracy over the English language and its pedantic rules for spelling and pronunciation.

So in the 1780s Webster wrote and published A Grammatical Institute of the English Language a compendium that consisted of a speller (published in 1783), a grammar (published in 1784), and a reader (published in 1785). The speller became very popular and over time, Webster changed the spellings in the book to be more phonetic (e.g. color instead of colour; defense instead of defence). Webster’s changes greatly influenced American English because his grammar books were so popular and used in schools throughout the country.

This influence was further solidified by Webster’s dictionaries, first published in 1806. Noah Webster was a spelling reformer who believed that the spelling of words should match their pronunciation as much as possible.

Differences in use of tenses

In British English the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an effect on the present moment. For example: I’ve misplaced my pen. Can you help me find it? In American English, the use of the past tense is also permissible:I misplaced my pen. Can you help me find it? In British English, however, using the past tense in this example would be considered incorrect.

Other differences involving the use of the present perfect in British English and simple past in American English include the words already, just and yet.

British English: I’ve just had food. Have you finished your homework yet? American English: I just had food. OR I’ve just had food.
I’ve already seen that film. OR I already saw that film.

Differences in Vocabulary

While some words may mean something in British English, the same word might be something else in American english and vice versa. For example, Athlete in British English is one who participates in track and field events whereas Athlete in American English is one who participates in sports in general.

Rubber in British English: tool to erase pencil markings.
Rubber in American English: condom.

There are also some words like AC, Airplane, bro, catsup, cell phone etc. which are common in American English and not used very often in British English. Some words widely used in British English and seldom in American English are advert, anti clockwise, barrister, cat’s eye.

Differences in Spelling

There are many words that are spelt differently in both forms of English. Some examples are:

American English spelling British English spelling
color colour
fulfill fulfil
center centre
analyze analyse
aging ageing
dialog dialogue
anesthesia, anaesthesia

A majority of the spelling differences between American and British English fall into the following categories:

  • Latin-derived spellings
    • our (British) and –or (American). e.g. colour vs color
    • re (British) and –er (American). e.g. centre vs center
    • ce (British) and –se (American). e.g. defence vs defense
  • Greek-derived spellings
    • ise (British) and –ize (American). e.g. centralise vs centralize
    • yse (British) and –yze (American). e.g. analyse vs analyze
    • ogue (British) and –og (American). e.g. dialogue vs dialog
    • Simplification of ae and oe in American English. e.g. gynaecology vs gynecology

Differences in the use of Prepositions

There are also a few differences between British and American English in the use of prepositions. For example: While the British would play in a team, Americans would play on a team. Another example: While the British would go out at the weekend, Americans would go out on the weekend.

Differences in Verb usage

American and British English may also use a base verb in different manners. For example: For the verb ” to dream”, Americans would use the past tense dreamed while the British would use dreamt in past tense. The same applies to “learned” and “learnt”. Another example of differing past tense spellings for verbs in American and British English is “forecast”. Americans use forecast while the British would say forecasted in simple past tense.

Differences in Pronunciation

Some words that are pronounced differently in American vs British English are controversy, leisure, schedule etc. There are also some words like Ax (Axe in British) and Defense (Defence in British) which have the same pronunciation but different spellings in both languages.

Time telling in British vs American English

Both languages have a slightly different structure of telling the time. While the British would say quarter past ten to denote 10:15, it is not uncommon in America to say quarter after or even a quarter after ten.

Thirty minutes after the hour is commonly called half past in both languages. Americans always write digital times with a colon, thus 6:00, whereas Britons often use a point, 6.00.

Differences in Punctuation

While the British would write Mr, Mrs, Dr, the Americans would write Mr., Mrs., Dr.

Video explaining the differences

Here’s a funny musical video that outlines the differences in some English and British English language words.

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References

American versus British English

Six Differences Between British and American English


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For VOA Learning English, this is Everyday Grammar.

There is an old saying that America and Britain are “two nations divided by a common language.”

No one knows exactly who said this, but it reflects the way many Brits feel about American English. My British friend still tells me, “You don’t speak English. You speak American.”

But are American and British English really so different?

Vocabulary

The most noticeable difference between American and British English is vocabulary. There are hundreds of everyday words that are different. For example, Brits call the front of a car the bonnet, while Americans call it the hood.

Americans go on vacation, while Brits go on holidays, or hols.

New Yorkers live in apartments; Londoners live in flats.

There are far more examples than we can talk about here. Fortunately, most Americans and Brits can usually guess the meaning through the context of a sentence.

Collective Nouns

There are a few grammatical differences between the two varieties of English. Let’s start with collective nouns. We use collective nouns to refer to a group of individuals.

In American English, collective nouns are singular. For example, staff refers to a group of employees; band refers to a group of musicians; team refers to a group of athletes. Americans would say, “The band is good.”

But in British English, collective nouns can be singular or plural. You might hear someone from Britain say, “The team are playing tonight” or “The team is playing tonight.”

Auxiliary verbs

Another grammar difference between American and British English relates to auxiliary verbs. Auxiliary verbs, also known as helping verbs, are verbs that help form a grammatical function. They “help” the main verb by adding information about time, modality and voice.

Let’s look at the auxiliary verb shall. Brits sometimes use shall to express the future.

For example, “I shall go home now.” Americans know what shall means, but rarely use it in conversation. It seems very formal. Americans would probably use I will go home now.”

In question form, a Brit might say, “Shall we go now?” while an American would probably say, “Should we go now?”

When Americans want to express a lack of obligation, they use the helping verb do with negative not followed by need. “You do not need to come to work today.” Brits drop the helping verb and contract not. “You needn’t come to work today.”

Past Tense Verbs

You will also find some small differences with past forms of irregular verbs.

The past tense of learn in American English is learned. British English has the option of learned or learnt. The same rule applies to dreamed and dreamt, burned and burnt, leaned and leant.

Americans tend to use the –ed ending; Brits tend to use the -t ending.

In the past participle form, Americans tend to use the –en ending for some irregular verbs. For example, an American might say, “I have never gotten caught” whereas a Brit would say, “I have never got caught.” Americans use both got and gotten in the past participle. Brits only use got.

Don’t worry too much about these small differences in the past forms of irregular verbs. People in both countries can easily understand both ways, although Brits tend to think of the American way as incorrect.

Tag Questions

A tag question is a grammatical form that turns a statement into a question. For example, “The whole situation is unfortunate, isn’t it?” or, “You don’t like him, do you?”

The tag includes a pronoun and its matching form of the verb be, have or do. Tag questions encourage people to respond and agree with the speaker. Americans use tag questions, too, but less often than Brits. You can learn more about tag questions on a previous episode of Everyday Grammar.

Spelling

There are hundreds of minor spelling differences between British and American English. You can thank American lexicographer Noah Webster for this. You might recognize Webster’s name from the dictionary that carries his name.

Noah Webster, an author, politician, and teacher, started an effort to reform English spelling in the late 1700s.

He was frustrated by the inconsistencies in English spelling. Webster wanted to spell words the way they sounded. Spelling reform was also a way for America to show its independence from England.

You can see Webster’s legacy in the American spelling of words like color (from colour), honor (from honour), and labor (from labour). Webster dropped the letter u from these words to make the spelling match the pronunciation.

Other Webster ideas failed, like a proposal to spell women as wimmen. Since Webster’s death in 1843, attempts to change spelling rules in American English have gone nowhere.

Not so different after all

British and American English have far more similarities than differences. We think the difference between American and British English is often exaggerated. If you can understand one style, you should be able to understand the other style.

With the exception of some regional dialects, most Brits and Americans can understand each other without too much difficulty. They watch each other’s TV shows, sing each other’s songs, and read each other’s books.

They even make fun of each other’s accents.

I’m Jill Robbins.

And I’m John Russell.

And I’m Claudia Milne.

Now it’s your turn. What style of English are you learning? Why did you choose it? Write to us in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

Adam Brock wrote this article for VOA Learning English. Jill Robbins and Kathleen Struck were the editors.

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Word in This Story

collective nounn. a word which refers to a collection of things taken as a whole.

auxiliary verbn. a word used in construction with and preceding certain forms of other verbs, as infinitives or participles, to express distinctions of tense, aspect, mood, etc

modalityn. expressing ability, necessity, possibility, permission or obligation.

lexicographer n. someone who writes dictionaries

inconsistency n. the quality or fact of not staying the same at different times

exaggerate v. to think of or describe something as larger or greater than it really is

6 Reasons Why My Boyfriend and I Love Sleeping in Separate Bedrooms

American and Vinglish

People who come to the USA from India have difficulty in communicating with Americans, because most speak fluent English or have received their education in English. Indians speak British English, there are many differences between regular English and British English. Indians that have been raised in India have a British English accent or an Indian accent.

Hindi is the major language of India. English is the major language of America. Hindi is identical to Urdu, which is the national language of Pakistan. The two languages are joined together and referred to as Hindustani or Hindu-Urdu. The differences are noticed in the writing. Sanskrit is the supplier of Hindi words.

Hindi has half as many vowels and twice as many consonants. Words containing the letters (this, thing, months) will cause most Hindi learners the same kind of problems that they cause most other learners of English. Compared to English, Hindi has weak but predictable word stress.

English, is of course  prominent in India. That is why Hindi learners are extremely fluent and speak the language perfectly. Although, the people of native India have a strong Indian accent. Only the American born as they are called ABCD “American Born Confused Desi ” can speak it with perfection.

BY: Vanita Lalwani

American Culture Versus Indian Culture

Americans are very independent and like to keep to themselves. While Indians focus towards groups when in family or any relations. Indians are very family oriented, the Americans are individual oriented. Family values and traditions are given very much importance in the Indian culture. Americans are commited to themselves, while Indians commit themselves to their families. Indians love stability and consistency while Americans love change and mobility.

Americans are more independent and fast, the children are raised in a different environment. They are told to support themselves and hold a job and get married. They move out of their houses and start their own families at a  young age. Where as in the Indian culture the inlaws live with their children and support their children all throughout their lives even after marriage. The children in USA have to stand on their own two feet and be independent. Whereas, in Indian culture the two feet that the children stand on are loved by their family and in the opposite way the children respect the the two feet of their parents and elders as they grow up to become adults and leave their homes. In Indian culture the younger ones always touch the feet of their elders for blessings out of respect. That is the Indian tradition that brings families together in the Indian culture.

The children in India are more dependent on others. In Indian culture their is respect for elders and they are the ones who make the decisions. In the American culture each individual including young children make their own decisions. Indians are more competitive in sports and challenging events then Americans.

Indians work to support their families. Americans work only for their own means to strive to make money to get rich and prosper for their own benefit.

In a nutshell, Americans are respectful for time and its value where as Indians believe the value of time is to watch a nice Bollywood movie with the family. They are more carefree. They value the moment!

By: Vanita Lalwani