If P U T is “put”, then why is C U T “cut”


This question forms a part of the dialogue in an old Malayalam movie. It was asked with the innocence of a child by a child. It did make me wonder why I never questioned my teacher the same way!

If we look into the history of evolution of language, I am sure we would find out about the origin of each and every spoken language in this world. The common thing among these languages, I am sure, would be the fact that it evolved from the human need to communicate effectivelywithout the use of hand gestures. What this implicates is that the written language came in later after the advent of Grammar and Pronunciation. This indicates that the need for a perfect language, its grammar and its punctuations evolved from the need to communicate more effectively through a written medium. This also, probably, explains why there are a whole of exceptions in languages.

I can speak in four languages, I can read and write in four and I can understand at least three more. Most of these languages are Indian, and I am sure I will be able to communicate with people from most parts of India. Of course with the additional help of sign language and gestures. With a little bit of French I picked up from my kids and from my visit to Paris, I am sure I can survive in most parts of Europe. A little Spanish is what I intend to learn next, to cover the American Continents. But of course, I would never be able to master any of them. In fact, I have not even studied my own Mother Tongue as a subject in School!

A language needs to be understood. Anything else that gets done with a language is purely for the purpose of a “Showcase”. The beauty of the language is more often understood by the way the words are pronounced. Some additions and subtractions in these languages by different communities give rise to dialects or the colloquial form of a language. Most people can be identified by the way they speak a particular language. I am sure this exists in forms of English or French or Spanish. There may be a variety of dialects for them too. If we learn the language, we generally tend to learn it based only on its written text.

There is something I heard a long time ago, that keeps coming back to me each time I try to learn something new. Someone had once told me that anything new that we need to learn, whether it be a language or a sport should be done before the age of 10. Of the many explanations that I have come up with for this particular statement, is that, the body undergoes a whole lot of changes after the age of 10. The concentration level decreases and the capacity to take in data reduce drastically. This theory probably explains why it is easier for adults after a certain age to concentrate more. They are fully developed, they have a family and they have finally settled down in their lives. The apprehensions regarding their future no longer exist. Of course, this is replaced, not in full, by the worry about their children.

If I were to redo my Engineering course now, I am sure I would manage to score much higher than I did back then. I am sure that if I plan to study a new language or sport today, I would be able to pick it up much faster than I used to. I have seen a banner on my way home yesterday regarding cooking classes. I am seriously thinking of joining it. I know only the colloquial form of Kerala cooking; I want to learn its original textbook version too.

Smile Smile Smile

Adios Amigos


18 thoughts on “If P U T is “put”, then why is C U T “cut”

  1. hmmm I do understand about the Age thing we are more open and its like our mind the hard disk keeps getting filled by useless data and we cling on to it and as we grow there is less and less space for more to go in 🙂 all the best in the learning and 4 langueages WOWOW .. I can only do three the most common ones he he hehe Bikram's


  2. J,You lost me with the following”Of the many explanations that I have come up with for this particular statement, is that, the body undergoes a whole lot of changes after the age of 10. The concentration level decreases and the capacity to take in data reduce drastically. This theory probably explains why it is easier for adults after a certain age to concentrate more. “Per this theory adults should have difficult time (not easy) concentrating. I personally think it is possible to learn anything new as long as you can have patience and motivation. When people are old they lose desire to learn new things……I can never learn cooking for that matter…)))


  3. @Bikram – We also delete a lot of unneccessary stuff the minute we gradate! I believe we can take in a lot if your mind doesn't have to worry too much! 4 languages is not a big deal, but yeah thank youm :)@Kavita – Very true. In that case, no point in joining cooking classes. :D@A – The very next line should explain it! No? When we delete unnecessary junk from our mind, new things can get in! Very True, but the patience and motivation comes with Maturity. Restlessness dampens the youngsters quest for knowledge. Totally my point of view. 🙂


  4. J,IMO, young and old both are restless. But youngsters can be made to do things while older people resist more. Whenever one starts learning a new subject, initially it sounds easy and fun. Then it becomes difficult and more difficult. That is the time when most people give up. But once you cross this curve, the subject becomes easy. To cross this difficult curve, an external force can help…children are likely to listen and cross this curve. Adults may not listen. If children do not listen they will give up too. But of course if either adults or children are motivated, they will make extra effort to handle the hurdle. So the main point is children are easier to motivate…..


  5. @A – Please do write a book. 🙂 External motivation doesn't work that often. Its purely through experience that yoingsters learn.How much ever we try to teach our kids the lessons we learnt from our mistakes, they will go ahead and make similar mistakes! Motivation does not work on teenagers! If you haven't realized it yet, then urs is an angel!


  6. J,Learning life experience and learning a subject are different. I agree kids will learn about life with experience.About motivation, tell your teen – no pocket money unless he/she learns xyz and see the reaction. Be firm. Motivation does not have to always in a positive way….you can motivate by giving an incentive if they learn or taking away something if they do not learn


  7. i personally feel that learning depends mostly on, how much interest one has to learn that particular thing and second, how much concentration he can have while going through it….and in case of kids they can concentrate in a better way bcoz there is nothing else for them to do apart from learning new things where as grown up ppl have to keep so many things into their tiny mind and in turn they loose concentration some how…


  8. Your website tag pointed me to “Profile doesnt exist” since a couple of weeks!!Now I hopped from Balan's and lo! you have 4 posts since I last read!! Something wrong with my tagging I guess. Pretty late now, would catch up with all 4 previous posts tomorrow 🙂


  9. @B – Yeah, I was having a lot of issues with that account, so I went ahead and created a new one. I had a tough time doing the changes. 🙂 Hmm… There is one more to read now. 😀


  10. Good post! So, did you take those cooking classes? And, I feel that some people are just more wired to pick up languages easily. My mil knows all 4 South Indian languages, Hindi, Marathi, and English fluently. That’s something. Poor me is still struggling to be fluent in Kannada. But, I am damn good at Hindi and English 🙂 and can follow Marathi and Gujarati too.


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