Word power made easy

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SOMUDRA BANERJEE
Published May 11, 2017, 12:03 am IST
Updated May 11, 2017, 12:03 am IST
Shashi Tharoor’s usage of ‘farrago’ is not silly, it is actually helpful.
Shashi Tharoor
 Shashi Tharoor

Indian diplomat Dr Shashi Tharoor has often swooned the country with his eloquence — whether it is the now famous Oxford Union debate on colonialism’s repercussions or raising pertinent questions at the Parliament last month. But now, Dr Tharoor has single-handedly managed to make the entire nation to look up an obscure word: Farrago.

Shashi tweeted, “Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalst (sic).” According to Oxford Dictionary, the word farrago means ‘a confused mixture’. Interestingly, Tweeple digressed from the point being made by Dr Tharoor and instead poked fun at his choice of words.

 

Satirist and stand-up comic Anuvab Pal says, “I didn’t know the word ‘farrago’ until I read his tweet. But it’s surprising to see that people are mocking him for speaking well. It’s almost like making fun of Sachin because he played a fantastic innings,” he says.

Anil Dharker, a writer and editor himself and also the director of Mumbai’s popular lit fest, thinks the reaction often comes from an assumption that people are showing off. “Dr Tharoor is well learned and words like ‘farrago’ are part of his normal usage and I’m sure the reaction must have taken him by surprise. Earlier, if we didn’t know something it would be considered ignorance and certainly not a badge of honour. But today, instead of trying to improve, we are making fun of him and certainly showing off our stupidity,” remarks Dharker.

 

Adds Anuvab, “Dr Tharoor is extremely well learned and has two degrees. Problematic as it may be, equally bad is the fact that today people are celebrating knowing less.”

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