This week our intrepid linguist finds nirvana wearing pyjamas in the jungle, and we discover how India changed English.
Language was carried on the tongues of tradesmen.
The East India Company was founded in 1600 to expand British trade with India.
As well as tea and saltpetre, it brought back derivations from the local languages.
The English word ‘jungle’ is derived from the Hindi ‘jangala’, which means uncultivated ground.
‘Pyjamas’, originally loose drawstring trousers, came to us from Persian via Urdu.
Kurt Cobain’s tragic demise was presaged in the original Sanskrit ‘nirvana’, which was the extinction of the individual soul into the universal.
Today, language is carried by the current of technology.
Language change is accelerating faster than a Tesla in ‘ludicrous’ mode.*
Thanks to the internet, there’s more cross-cultural conversation in a single minute than the East India Company inspired in several centuries.
So, a question – would you wear the same trousers you wore ten years ago?
No? So why does your brand language sound pre-Twitter, pre-Pinterest, pre-WhatsApp?
To hear what’s happening in brand language today, book a brand language audit. Email Chris – you’ll notice his post 2008 email address.
*Whether or not Elon Musk is aware of it, ‘ludicrous’ is an apt choice to describe the car’s rapid acceleration. It’s derived from the Latin, ‘ludicrus’, which means ‘pertaining to play or sport’.