Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Conjunctive Disjunction or Disjunctive Conjunction

It looks paradoxical either way. We, Indians have a very unique way of obeying people (atleast, we do obey) i.e. whatever we are called for, we just go and do exactly the opposite. I recall a very famous saying that goes like:

My idea of success is to listen to the best of the advices
available and then go and do just the opposite!

Recently, I was visiting a friend near my house in Delhi when I came across this: "Dekho!! Gadha peshaab kar raha hai" (read: Look, This ass is peeing over here!) written on a house-wall. I was wondering of why people write such things on walls. Maybe, because the place where this was written is quite secluded and thus, a good place for people to pee since, there were no closets around. But, what caught my attention was not the fact that such a remark was scribbled on the wall, but the fact that why the heck did the writer wrote that the person who is peeing is an ass and in order to insult him, added for the on-lookers to tease him. Couldn't he have written "Micturating here is prohibited!". But then, we Indians never follow instructions ('there wouldn't be so much of road accidents and traffic-jams in Delhi had people followed one').

I though maybe I could improve upon this. Instead of using a conjunction for the person peeing at the wall i.e. dekho! yeh gadha hai AND yahaan peshaab kar raha hai (read"This is an ass AND is micturating here"), it should have been "dekho ! ya to yeh gadha hai ya yeh yahaan peshaab kar raha hai" (read: Either this guy is an ass or he is peeing here), it would have been mathematically correct, as you call the convict either an ass or a liliputian piddler if he is disobeying either. But, in the 'original manuscript', the person may not be an ass or may not be weeing there.

I hope this is not an act of McCarthyism!


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