When do I use: ‘&’ ?

&

I was in Uttarakand recently, where I stumbled upon this rather clever sign (note the bullet holes!). And it made me start thinking about the symbol ‘&’, which is read as: ampersand.

In corporate India, the ampersand is commonly used in business emails. If you are writing formal communication, it is better to go with the full form: and. Try to avoid using ‘&’. It gives the message an informal feel.

However, this symbol does have a place in the business world. The ampersand is used in the titles of companies, think Tata & Sons, or Ernst & Young.

Of course, when you are SMSing and WhatsApping friends, it is absolutely fine to substitute ‘and’ with ‘&’. In informal communication, the rules of writing are relaxed and priority is giving to speed and convenience.

When you’re writing your next business email, check whether you are using the ampersand…

 

Why not: Trusted from 1906?

 

since

 

At times, I have heard: “I’ve been working here from 2015.”

Actually it should be: “I’ve been working here since 2015.”

Or one can say: “I’ve been working here for two years.”

Here is how since and for are used:

since + point in time       (since 1906)

for + period of time        (for 10 years)

We do use from with time expressions, but in a different sense. Here are some examples:

The conference starts from tomorrow. 

The shop is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

And yes, by now you know why the ad is correct: Trusted since 1906.

In fact, from now on, you know the difference between since and for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“He has a chip on his shoulder.” or does he?

 

blue chip

This is a commonly used idiom: he has a chip on his shoulder. Some people use it to indicate that he is behaving arrogantly, normally due to his success or position. Perhaps they are making a connection between the chip on his shoulder and a microprocessor chip or a blue chip stock. Actually, this is not the meaning of the idiom. It is not related to being arrogant.

When someone has a chip on his shoulder, he is angry or feels disrespected. And he feels angry/disrespected because he is under the impression that he has been treated unfairly in the past.

And that is what it means to have a chip on one’s shoulder.

A venture capitalist once said that he looks for an entrepreneur who has a chip on her shoulder, as this means that she will try even harder to succeed. Does that make sense?

 

How many Indianisms can you find in this letter?

out of station

There are three Indianisms in this letter. They are:

  1. out of station

Instead one can say: out of town.

2. kindly

This is a very common word in India. Nothing wrong with it, but do keep in mind that outside India, people usually say please instead of kindly.

3. the same

This, like kindly, is a classic example of Indianism. Instead of ‘the same’ one can say: ‘it’.

And so, the full sentence reads:

Please resend it.