Living in India has taught me that Indian English has many cool and special features. One of these that I’ve noticed is that some people say “let’s catch up” when I would say “let’s meet up”, i.e. to mean let’s meet up, for the first time, as strangers, to get acquainted. When I first heard this my impulse was to protest – much how I have had the impulse to correct those Tibetan English language learners who when leaving a situation sometimes say “Nice to meet you” even though they’ve met me scores of times before. “You usually catch up with someone you’ve already met”, “If you say nice to meet you during anything other than the first encounter people will think you’ve forgotten them or have amnesia,” it’s tempting to say. But what if you used these different articulations of time and familiarity as opportunities for generating profound insight, for engaging differently with self and reality?
– “Let’s catch up!”
– “But, we haven’t met bef….
– OH, YOU REMEMBER THAT TIME WHEN I WAS A PORCUPINE AND YOU WERE MY PORCUPINE-MOTHER?? THANKS FOR THAT BY THE WAY! HOW ARE YOU THESE DAYS ANYWAY? THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU WAS IN JERUSALEM DURING THE CRUSADES WITH PETER I THINK
– “Nice to meet you!”
– “But we met last Tuesd….
– AH, FUNNY! WHERE IS TUESDAY? IVE NEVER BEEN
Subscribe to a theory of repetitive rebirth and time as a beginning-less fabricated loop and there’s no one you can’t catch up with! Reflect on the ephemerality of phenomenal existence and the speciousness of wholly independent selves and there’s no one, singular person, you can truly meet twice! Common forms of greeting are social rituals that shape reality. Why be a grammar nazi when you can be a #GRAMMARMYSTIC?