Posts Tagged ‘Tamil’

“Padikama OB Adikadhe” (Don’t waste time pretending to study), how many times have you heard this sentence from your mom when you were in school? Or your boss yelling at you “OB Adikalam nu nenachiya?”. We would have also heard similar sentences from many others starting from our teachers in school, to the extent that we would scratch our heads in confusion as to what the cryptic acronym “OB” really meant. This entirely Tamilian term, strangely enough, has its origins in the term “off-beat” used in the British Army to refer to retired officers or soldiers. Since they were going to retire from their service, these officers avoided doing any work and wasted time. Hence the term was used “OB adikardhu”, in Tamil, it also refers to the following activities: to avoid doing work, to jugaad-fy, to waste time, to chillax.

No more scratching our heads the next time we hear it.

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Ever noticed the difference as to why most North Indian scripts have more straight lines, whereas South Indian scripts are as curvy as a Jalebi. For one this particular feature of the South Indian scripts, such as Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam which makes them more “curvier” than North Indian scripts is popularly explained by linguists in India by the different writing media historically in use. Ancient South Indians wrote on large dried leaves; straight lines would have punctured the leaves and rendered them useless, so South Indian scripts evolved more curves. It is said that the roundness of the letters is an adaptation of the script to the properties of the palm leaf. The palm leaves were used for writing, the text was written with a stylus, which scratched the letters into the leaf, hence curvier scripts helped preserve the palm leaves without damaging them.