English may not be our language but we started learning it during the British rule and after the separation promptly adopted it as our official language. The stage has come when English has become an integral part of our education system, as well as social. It is thus imperative that we achieve command over English as we have over our own languages such as Urdu or other regional languages.

The irony of fate is that around half of our educated class uses incorrect English while speaking or writing in their daily work. The use of wrong words phrases and spelling mistakes, especially in public material, causes disappointment for the readers. Only the other day there was a news item about a lawyer having shot dead his girl friend. The last sentence read, “The lawyer was having illicit relations with him.” This can be condoned as an omission because the journalists are well educated people. The worst are the mistakes found in some road signs displayed in the city. To quote a couple of such examples, in one of the cricket functions, I was presented a shield with the inscription ‘Presented to HOUNARABLE guest’. I am keeping the shield packed and have not displayed it to save the sponsor from embarrassment.

What prompted me to touch on this subject is an advertisement by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the caption Corrigendum which appeared in The Nation dated December 9. The headline was spelled as CORRIGENUDUM. If this is the standard of officials in the HEC, God save our education system.


Lahore, December 15.