The other day I went to the cineplex along with one of my friends. The movie was enjoyable. While I was making my way back home my friend, to my utter surprise, said to me something like this, “Mama, purai matha nosto, movie ta jotil hoise” (friend, completely awesome, the movie is too good). What do you think about the kinds of words my friend used in that particular sentence? If I say this exact sentence to an elderly person, I am sure he/she will not be able to make some meaning out of that sentence. Yet these are the words or sentences that are now very often used by thousands of youths like me out there who are so oblivious to the original meaning of those defamiliarized words. Well, later on I thought about the ways our young generation and some other groups such as RJs are making use of the dictions available in Bengali language. Will the ways youths of our country are using Bengali diction bring any good for our language? Let’s try to have a deeper look into the usage of Bengali diction.
Nowadays youths of our country often use many words in their conversations and sometimes it becomes very difficult for the people around them to figure out the literal sense as the original meaning seems to be quite different from the intended meanings. Words such as ‘jhakkas’, ‘matha nosto’, ‘mama’, ‘byapok’, ‘osthir’, ‘sei’, ‘chorom’, ‘agun’, ‘rocks’, ‘jotil’, ‘vabs’, ‘bail nai’, ‘gunlam na’ and ‘off ja’ are very commonly used by the millennial generation of our country. Some of these words express happiness while some others symbolize unhappy feeling or something derogatory. Meanwhile some RJs working in the radio stations are, in a way, shaming Bengali words as they pronounce Bengali words in such a way that sometimes it really gets difficult on the part of the listener to determine whether the word pronounced belongs to our language or has been imported from some other language. Furthermore, they frequently alternate between two or more language varieties (mixing two words from two languages such as ‘awesome hoise’) which is called code-switching in the context of a single conversation. Such usage hardly keeps the meaning of the words intact and actually creates a ‘hotchpotch’ sentence, which is understood by none but the youths.
Now the most obvious question that comes to someone’s mind – what is the problem with such usage of diction? The problem is multifarious and has a far-reaching impact. First of all, such language impurities, if inspired, contaminate a language and if the incorrect versions are used repeatedly, then those wrong words become a norm. For instance- at the beginning these sorts of words were only in practice during private conversations, especially during chatting among friends. But gradually the scopes have widened and now we see that social media users always use these words for posting status on the social networking sites. Secondly, if it goes on, then it may even affect our standard form of language and influence others or to some extent even force others to use those distorted versions. For example- the trend is now finding a place into popular culture through dramas telecast on different channels. Owing to widespread popularity of distorted versions of words, some dramatists are including those words in their scripts. Due to this many people are learning wrong words and versions of language. The third problem is the most alarming one. Our children are getting increasingly affected by such practice. One of my colleagues shared his experience in this regard in this way, “Last month we had a parents’ meeting day at my son’s school. My son’s class teacher informed me that he has used some informal words like ‘jhakkas’ in his answer script. I was in shock.” So, it is evident from this example that some kids are so influenced by distorted versions of language that they have started considering those words as the correct form. If someone with good sense takes all these impacts into consideration, then it will not be very tough to make sense of the problem associated with such incorrect usage of Bengali diction.
However, the reason behind such epidemic is that people now put more emphasis on other languages such as English ignoring Bangla. That’s why our parents, teachers and even schools are not very much eager to teach Bengali language to the children in a proper manner. In particular, English medium schools are provoking the students to speak in English and the students of these schools are very ignorant of their root (that is Bengali). Most of the English medium students cut a sorry figure in Bengali exams and most of them use Bangla in a distorted way. Their parents are also indifferent to such attitude and they pamper these indulgencies.
With all these said it is also mentionable that language is like a river and it will definitely undergo changes. But the changes must be systematic and there are even linguistic rules to include loan-words in a particular language. And for now, it is important for all of us to use the language in its correct form.