Some of the words or jargon that I have learnt since coming to college include words like "mokkai" and "propose". Literally translated, "mokkai" means blunt in Tamil. It however seems to be a derogatory term used to insult boring people or people who have the habit of reciting old jokes from Ananda Vikatan, a popular Tamil weekly. You might wonder how I came up to college without knowing the meaning of "propose". Of course I knew the meaning of propose, as in you propose to build a dam here to provide water for irrigation, or you propose the vote of thanks at a meeting, or the man proposed marriage to the woman. All that is perfectly alright, but young engineering students in Anna University affiliated engineering colleges have way too much free time on their hands and devise new meanings for words and phrases.
Last month, I was reciting a few bits of gossip to a friend of mine, when he stopped me and said, "What did you just say?" I realized I had inadvertently used wrong college-jargon to completely offset the meaning of my conversation. That's when I realized this, and told Marc about it. He said he'd already posted on that long ago, on his old blog.
My first experiences with warped meanings of the word propose came during the time I was "ragged" in my first year. I was asked to "propose" to a girl of my choice. I was taken aback. Talking to or flirting with would have been a feasible task, but proposing marriage(as I understood it then) was too much to be doing the first time I was talking to a girl. I refused, and my seniors called me "mokkai". That was the first time I'd heard of that word either, and was wondering how humans could be mokkai, because only pencils had such tendencies. I said that aloud too, to be further called "mokkai", which was further confusing. In class the next morning, a friend of mine said he'd been taken in by a girl and was wondering whether he should propose to her. Now I was scared bad. Was this college run by nutters?(Yes it is) Was this college full of nutters?(Yes it is) I mean who in their right minds would propose marriage to a girl the first time they ever met her?
A few days later, a classmate was again wondering about proposing to girls. By now, however, I had it figured out. "Proposed" in this language roughly means to "ask someone out". Really gave me a harrowing time. I cautiously refrained from using the same term, but would always be granted with blank looks whenever I suggested someone ask someone else out. Rather than use wrong terminology, I decided to refrain talking about the whole mish-mash of proposing and putting mokkai. But college being what it is, we have a lot of free time on our hands. Lecturers come and go, periods come and go, lunch-hours come and go, days and weeks and months and whole semesters come and go without anything actually happening, leaving the brain devoid of anything to do. It is at dangerous moments like this that the brain desperately wants to see some action, and the only source of relief from boredom in the vicinity seems to be a bunch of classmates sitting around discussing potential girlfriends. The rest, is history, albeit history you wish hadn't happened.
Now after all that, I was recently telling another friend of mine about how I'd heard a rumour of a girl running away with a boy, or a professor, or something like that, when my friend stopped me and said, "What did you just say? How does proposing come in here?" That's when I realized my mistake of too much gossip-mongering with people who always talk about proposing to people. I explained the meaning behind the jargon and continued with the tale, but resolved two things.
1. Never to use propose in the wrong sense.
2. To bring my blog out of hibernation with a post about proposing.
Marc proposed to post on me proposing to post on propositional logic in my blog here.
To hear people expounding on the art of proposing to people(preferrably members of the opposite sex), ask contact this person.