Friday, November 27, 2009

Auto/Rickshaw

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Yeah until yesterday i used to think it is the same word in english, meaning an automatic rickshaw( a three wheeled public transport vehicle).
But in my attempts to use public transport(esp. in a city where its almost a low profile act) i discovered how rickshaw and auto are two different things. Rickshaw in chandigarh ( or perhaps the north india) means a human pulled rickshaw. However the Auto means the engine powered 3 wheeler.
What struck me is not just that they are two terms and mean two different things, but how language in the end modifies to serve its core purpose, i.e. communication. Perhaps thats how new languages take birth. I see the empowerment of usability or purposefulness over the aesthetics of a language.

1 comment:

Balu said...

even in HYD we call the same.. rickshaw for pedaled one and auto driven by a three-wheeler (thats sues petrol/kerosene etc)...

we also have pati-pati.. that's a seven seater... aka mini taxi..