Long sentence part 1

Few of us, members of a forum, came to know that there are some authors who have written very long sentences and have entered into record books. Following facts were brought to our notice-

“Some facts about long sentences

* Jonathan Coe’s novel, ‘The Rotters’ Club’, contains a sentence of 13,955 words. This is generally considered to be the longest sentence in English literature.
* One of Molly Bloom’s soliloquies in James Joyce’s epic novel ‘Ulysses’ features a sentence of 4,491 words.
* The Guinness Book of Records lists the longest proper sentence as one from William Faulkner’s novel ‘Absalom, Absalom!’ (1,287 words).
* Some ancient languages, such as Sanskrit and Greek, did not have any punctuation. So all their sentences were long!
* A Polish novel, ‘Bramy Raju’, contains a 40,000-word sentence.
* There is a Czech novel, by Bohumil Hrabal, called ‘Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age’ which is one long sentence. ”

So we had a competition among us to see if we can write long sentences without any full stops.The sentences were supposed to be meaningful. As is my wont, I am always a sucker for such challenges. I too participated, and posted three loooong sentences. First of my long sentences was 2067 words long.

Here is that first sentence of mine

Long tongue twister names tend to get shortened and modified suitably by those who cannot pronounce them in their original form, and thus we have the mortification, or may be the convenience, depending on which way one looks at it, of witnessing modified names which may or may not make sense to those familiar with the original names, and look no further than the people of Bengal who will vouch for the point that I am trying to make, that it was the inability of Britishers to pronounce perfectly meaningful and not so long native names like Bandhopadhyaya, Chattopadhyaya, Mukhopadhyaya, Gangopadhyaya, and even Thakur, that led to these names getting anglicised, read corrupted, to Bannerji, Chatterji,Mukherji,Ganguly and Tagore, which is ridiculous, to say the least, as the first four modified names have little in common with their original version, whereas the fifth name has the same number of letters as its anglicised version, which makes one wonder as to what kind of tongues did the Britishers possess that they could pronounce Tagore but not Thakur, and instead of training their tongues, they took the easier way out and corrupted the perfectly reasonable native names to suit their tongues, and this tendency encompassed not just surnames in Bengal, but also names of cities, rivers, books, just about anything that they could come across all over the country, and this led to names such as Cawnpore, Jubbelpore, Nagpore, where -pore was pronounced as -poor and Allahabad, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad etc where -bad was pronounced as, well “bad” which left a bad taste in the native tongues as it left a misleading impression in the minds of ignorant westerners reading these names that Indian cities were either “poor” or “bad” or both,which was far from the truth, but then which native was bold enough to bell the cat and tell the Britishers that “Ganga” and “Kaveri” were much easier to pronounce than “Ganges” and “Cauvery” for all tongues including the British ones, who should have got their tongues tested, in addition to their brains, who on the one hand reduced the size of some names,and on the other hand,lengthened some names ostensibly for the same reason of convenience, which led to words such as “Yog”, “Yudhishthir”,”Krishn” etc being lengtherened, as against shortened, and pronounced as “Yoga”,”Yudhishthira”,”Krishna” etc and complicating an already complicated system of renaming native names thus rendering it incomprehensible to all but linguistically the most blessed ones, which by default ruled out any Britishers from contention, but that did not cramp their style at all and they continued to rename Indian words to their hearts’ content, coming up with such gems as “coconut water” for the simple “daabh”,and “custard apple” for “shareefa” or “seetaphal”, making one wonder whether renaming these delicacies really made them more delicate,oops, I mean, more tasty to their tongues, which is highly doubtful, because “aam” is not only easier to pronounce than “mango” but is easily the tastiest fruit in the world, which tastes better when called by its Indian name and tastes even better when eaten the Indian way, which the Britishers never did and insisted to take out their knives, forks and spoons even while tasting Indian delicacies which are best sampled without these artificial contraptions that the Britishers introduced in India which were considered essential for any Indians who wanted to be counted among civilised persons according to the British ways of doing things, which was a world apart from the Indian ways, and this conflict of cultures often took amusing forms, what with the natives looking funny wearing shirt and tie on his trunk, and dhoti underneath, and the Britishers trying to do the same with Indian garments, with the British Mem-sahibs trying to don the Sari and tripping all over it, which remained a comical sight in many Bollywood and even Hollywood movies for decades, till Western women such as Sonia Gandhi nee Maino and Mother Teresa learnt to wear Sari the proper way and the Indian men learnt the proper Western way of dressing up, and this fascination with each other’s ways has reached such a stage that Indian origin English language teachers are in great demand in England whereas English and other European girls find little difficulty finding roles of Indian girls in Bollywood as well as in regional Indian movies, which was simply unimaginable just a few decades ago for Indians and Westerners both, and it has been a win-win situation for both really, because the Indians have been lured by the Western glitter and the West by the Indian mystic for quite some time and it has been the subject of movies such as “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” which bore little resemblance to ground or any other kind of realities, but was still lapped up by the audience, and a big reason for the popularity of this movie was the exotic Indian ways depicted in the movie, which frankly speaking were figments of the fertile and fecund imagination of the movie makers with as much reality in them as the diagonal members of a skew Hermitian matrix which as any mathematical geek will tell you, are either pure imaginary or zero,and as such can be converted into a Hermitian matrix by multiplying the skew Hermitian matrix with i and the resultant Hermitian matrix will at least have its diagonal members as real, even if its other members will not be,rendering the whole exercise an exercise in futility, even if it may not appear so to a non geek, who, if he happens to be the chairman of some scientific award may even nominate the former for some esoteric scientific award named after some long dead geek,which no one may have heard of and whose name may well have undergone corruption by the process as described above,but the geek will not know about that, and he will after winning the award, prance away happily and show off his award to anyone who is interested, which rules out most people in the world, leaving just a few fellow geeks,who will then pooh-pooh the award telling the suitably chastened geek that the process of getting a Hermitian Matrix from skew Hermitian matrix or vice-versa is a childishly simple process known to everyone who has read the first two chapters of the textbook on matrices by Shanti Narayan, who by the way wrote this book fiftythree years ago and this book is popular among mathematics students even today, which is amazing for a textbook, but not so amazing in comparison when you consider the fact that there have been some textbooks which were written more than hundred years ago and they continue to be popular among students long after their authors are dead and buried, though fortunately not forgotten to the students who go to the bookshop and ask for Higher Algebra by Hall and Knight, little realising that this book was first written in 1887, and Loney wrote his mathematics books at around the same time, and the popularity of these books even hundred years later makes one wonder whether mankind has made any progress whatsoever in these hundred years in the field of mathematics, and the answer appears to be in the negative, and this could well be the answer in the field of physics too, when you consider the fact that the text book of university physics by Sears, Zemansky and Young,which was first printed in 1949, continues to be the recommended text book for students as well as those who want to have solid foundations on the basics of physics,and frankly speaking why should we have solid foundations on physics or anything which will only allow us to qualfy for Engineering colleges and from there to management institutes, where we will attend lectures by Laloo Prasad Yadav who may only use the abovementioned University Physics book as a handy missile to throw at other MPs in a Parliament session, where people are more often than not seen to resort to unparliamentary language as well as lung power to shout down fellow members who may really have something worthwhile and logical to say in a parliamentary language, but finds himself outnumbered and in a minority even among his own party members, in addition to members from the other parties,and the fact that one cannot speak in a parliamentary language in parliament is tempered by the realisation that one cannot talk in an assembly language in an state assembly either and there is every likelihood that the member speaking assembly languge will find his remarks expunged from the proceedings by the speaker of the house with severe reprimand to the member to confine himself to a language which is comprehensible to the honourable members of the house, none of whom ever reached the educational level where he could have the opportunity of studying even a higher level computer language,not to speak of assembly language, which even computer geeks may have difficulty comprehending and communicating in, so one cannot really blame the MLAs who in any case are elected by a different process than the process of selection of an IAS officer or an IIT aspirant, and it is chastening to know that an IIT aspirant is supposed to be the world class, whereas an IAS officer is just India class, and an MLA or MP need not be even literate, and this leads to a truly apalling situation where a world class IIT trained Enginner reports to a second division History graduate turned IAS officer, who in turn reports to a totally illiterate Chief Minister like Rabdi Devi or Mayawati,which shows that the founding fathers of our country were so mistaken and misguided in their goals in that they wanted their Enginners to be world class, beuraucrats just India class and the politicians the scum of the land, and that is a good reason why India finds itself in a paradoxical situation where Engineers want to be IAS officers, and IAS officers want to be politicians, and none of these people really want to be in their coveted position for the reason that they give to the interviewers and everyone knows that the IAS officers and politicians citing public service or serving the nation sounds as hollow as a beauty contst participant glibly talking about fighting AIDS in Somalia and wanting to be Mother Teresa in their next lives, which by now has become stale jokes for everyone except those telling these jokes, and as jokes go, these are still current and beauties still manage to win their titles mouthing the same banalities that their predecessors mouthed in the past contests in front of the very same judges,none of them incidentally possess an IQ of over 80, which is natural considering the fact that their fans and followers too have the same levels of IQ, which explains why beauty contests, rock concerts and the likes always have much bigger audience than a seminar of eminent brain surgeons of the world,whose announcement of breakthroughs in discovering ways to enhance brain power have no takers, but one can bet that that sexologists announcing breakthroughs in their field pertaining to sexual staying power will have the attention of every one in the world, including the gutter press,and the same gutter press will have nothing to report when India launches four satellites to space simultaneously, which is a much more complicated operation that what a urologist can ever perform on a bobbitised male,and that tells us something about the mainstream media, that one should never ever depend on such media if one wants to be well-informed and educated on a subject,and one is well advised to depend on specialists and special interest groups for news and views of specialised nature,which means that one needs to sift true information from a maze of gibberish, which is in effect no different from the process of finding a needle in a haystack, which now a days goes by the fancy name of data mining from a datawarehouse,and the experts who are supposed to be able to perform this seemingly Herculean task are paid millions by their employers who call their company “google” where the first three letters signify the matter within their brain, despite their protestations to the contrary …

2067 words, breaks the Guiness record mentioned above. To be continued…


About Atul

Making small talk is not for me, and so I like to make bigger talk. And that is why I have decided to blog.
This entry was posted in English language, Humour. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Long sentence part 1

  1. rajaswaminathan says:

    Brings back fond memories, Atul.
    Am waiting for the other sentences also.
    You were amazing in that competition.

  2. squarecutatul says:

    Yes, it brings back fond memories. And this broke Guinness book’s world record too.Those were the days.

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