Picture of the Day: ‘Miss Under Standing’

Posted on May 8, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Photo of the Day, Society
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Adil Najam

Back in November 2006 we had done a ‘Picture of the Day’ post about a banner over a Lahore road that had some interesting spelling typos (heading: ‘I Love Miss Spelling). This current picture from Islamabad, taken by reader Saad, reminded me of that post.

I spend a lot of my professional life watching diplomats haggle over meanings of words in agreements being negotiated, so I find the wordplay here interesting, even if it is unintended. What does that extra ‘D’ at the end of ‘APOLOGIZE’ do to the meaning. Are they saying that inconveniences caused in the past have already been apologized for? Or that future inconveniences are covered by past apologies? Or that past inconveniences are being apologized for now?

But let me hasten to say that this is Not Pinglish. ‘Pinglish’ is not about bad spelling or faulty grammar; Pinglish is about formulations that may not be widely used or considered ‘proper’ in formal English but which are so widely accepted in Pakistan to be considered very much part of accepted usage by Paksitanis. Maybe I should add by repeating what I wrote in an earlier post about spelling lapses like this:

But please, let no one think I am being a snob in laughing at these mistakes. I really am not. Really. Its our language too and as a free people we will use it whatever way we want. What better revenge can we have on our erstwhile colonists.

18 responses to “Picture of the Day: ‘Miss Under Standing’”

  1. bebe says:

    Pinglish has been around for sometime. In the 1970’s, a relative from the UK on holiday was already saying,
    “Othe bintraN vich cold nae lagdee; housaN ‘ch HeataN chchadiyaN hundiyaN ne…”

  2. Qurratulain says:


    Actually they ‘apologized’ for the inconvenience which has already been ’caused’, this clearly denotes that they are not responsible for the present inconvenience.


  3. Saad says:

    bah! replace ‘this’ with ‘there’.

  4. Saad says:


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