|Saturday, September 6, 2003||
words come into being naturally. They need no high-tech lab, no
fertility drug, and no artificial insemination. People just naturally
give birth to words every day. These naturally born words are the
healthiest and the most likely to survive," writes Allan Metcalf,
an American linguist, in Predicting New Words (2002). Through
the perfectly natural act of living, language users create many new
words. These days, the whole process of re-making houses has triggered
off a new wave of words. Old dwellings demolished to make way for new
ones; new structures on old foundations and many such landmarks dot
the landscape. It is a common sight to spot an ostentatious mini
mansion in a cluster of humble dwellings in any farming community of
North India. Naturally enough, a new lexicon has found its way into
the media to describe this altered landscape. So far, all these words
have not reached the dictionary, but looking at the pace of
construction, they soon will.
A house as big as this would not need a garage but a garage mahal, a large or opulent garage or parking structure. The nickname Garage Mahal, a juxtaposition play on the opulent Taj Mahal shows up quite a bit in car racing and hot rod circles, where it refers to a large garage that is well stocked with tools, parts, and supplies.
All this frenzy of building has given rise to a new term and a new trend within architecture, that of mansionisation. It is the act of tearing down an existing house and replacing it with one that is bigger, especially one that is much larger than the surrounding houses. Advertisements painted on the walls of buildings have resulted in advertecture. The love and care showered on canines has given architecture a new twist in the coinage ‘barkitecture’, that welds bark with architecture. A book titled Barkitecture was published in 1999 and it dealt with the latest designs of all the necessities and luxuries any dog could ever require!
Hindi uses prefixes from
many sources to create shades of meaning. The word vaas, which
means the act of habitation, is from Sanskrit and takes on the Sanskrit
prefix adhi- , meaning ‘in the proximity of’ to form adhivas
or domicile. The Sanskrit sam- (together) gives samvas or
living under one roof and the Hindi ni- (in proper form) gives nivas