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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Reckless Ramblings - 2 - Naaz and Diction

The first of my wars with Naaz started with him advocating a new meaning for "diction" when the entire tfmpage was against his "views".? Read on :-)? LAter when I engaged in a war of words with him for another reason (reckless ramblings - 3) , he presumed I was "Settling old scores" :-)



  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 09:32:38 EDT 2003


    bb -

    "Chitra's diction is superb in this song (as it usually is)."

    There is an error, and a lie in the above statement. The "diction" does not belong to the singer, it belongs to the poet/lyricist. And the paranthetical emphasis is something that can be proven wrong - in any song sung by Chitra.

    Kanna Varuvaya is a classic example of how a tamizh song can be "malayalamised" (as many were, when sung by KJY and KSC) and yet tamils can be made to accept such moments as sublime and "apt."

    What is "swargam idhuvo" please, if not malayalam?
    What is "un mugham paarkire..." "nadhi orum ( shouldn't that be "oram"??) nadandhu..." "ragam seerkava (??)" "vidindhalum or nedunalum? (even with earphones and three encores, I couldn't figure this one out.)
    Sorry to rain on your parade, but KJY and KSC are a dynamite combination in Kerala perhaps. But when they get together for a duet as the SOTD above, he carries on with his legendary devil-may-care attitude toward tamizh, and she, a bonafide disciple, irons out every tamizh nuance in the song, drops endings and renders the song ready for dialysis. (KSC manages this songs-seeking-life-support even when it is a vivacious, frolicky, no holds barred hindi song like "Bani Bani Bani Re Bani" from MPKDH. It must be a gift.)

    Amazing what people will accept and celebrate. But we're all so adept at traversing this thin line between hypocrisy and honesty, we can pat ourselves on the back to raising it to a lever of a fine art.


  • From: Mythila (@ 203.200.33.65) on: Tue Sep 23 09:54:36 EDT 2003


    Oh Naaz, probably , legendery singers like Chitra/KJY can avail of this phonetical , linguistic licence for exceptionally sweet songs.
    Naaz, neenga enna ippidi ChithraGuptan maadiri kanakku paarkirel? I'm gonna get jitters when I sing any Thamizh song.



  • From: MS (@ 129.252.26.97) on: Tue Sep 23 11:08:59 EDT 2003


    Naaz:

    I think we have already had a discussion on this issue in a thread which tried listing chitra's numbers. I remember you pointing out a few mistakes of KSC in the song "mari mari" and went on to extend your theory of regular mispronunciation for the rest of her songs, which I found unjustified. And I am increasingly made to believe it is really difficult to please "purists" when it comes to performing an art, be it singing or writing or any other.

    First of all, the word diction can, not only refer to the choice of words but also to the clarity in enunciation and I personally find no error in the way bb has used it in the sentence. To me, this aspect of yours, reflects more on your general attitude towards anything good that you come across ( or bad as you may opine).

    swargam is a sanskrit word. There has earlier been an exchange of opinions in this regard between aruL and a few others including yours truly, about why singers sometimes do not pronounce some of the words ( e.g chondham is usually sung as sondham) as they are required by the grammar books, even if they knew the exact pronunciation. One reason attributed was the enhancement of melody. If a sanskrit word has to be used in tamil, you have two options:

    (1) use it as it is - eg. this song
    (2) tamil-ize the word - chorkam and use it.

    For a purist like you, the usage of the sanskrit word itself must be a serious flaw. In such a case, you would hardly have to pan the singers who are delivering the words as the lyricist gives them. It is a pity that established artists like KJY, KSC have to be accused of a shoddy attitude towards tamil when they really have put good effort to improve their "diction". For that matter, can you tell me ONE singer who has sung ALL his / her songs without any pronunciation errors ?

    I bet you sure cannot. And if pronunciation standards set by grammarians are to be followed meticulously, every song would be a nighmare to sing, leave alone the nightmares that we come across in the name of songs. (kaNNula viLakkeNNaiyai vittu thEdura gOShtingaLai oNNum seyya mudiyaadhu)

    In this regard, I appreciate HJ for introducing a completely new trend where the singers are required to sing neither in tamil nor in english but in some alien language (ohasiyaanaa....vaahiyaanaa / ullaahi ullahi laahi / arigori bonsayi) which has helped singers to escape the swords of linguistic purists :-)



  • From: suresh (@ 202.88.155.34) on: Tue Sep 23 11:45:23 EDT 2003


    Naaz
    Your search for answers as to why VJ is never as popular (among the hypocritical 'mass' audience) as a Janaki or Chitra is giving way to a frustration that's now bordering on the rude.

    Appreciation is shaped by individual expectations, and if those expectations place attributes other than pronunciation and technical finesse as central to listening pleasure, can't you let that pass? It's another matter whether that appreciation has quite the cognitive maturity that you possess, but this is always going to be in the realm of subjectivity.

    I appreciate your honesty and your devotion to the cause of the spoken thamizh word, but I think it's about time you cease these petulant fits that just don't tolerate a deviant worldview from yours. If it makes me a hypocrite to say that I enjoy Chitra's songs than VJs (blasphemy!), and KJY than TMS, let me line up in front.


  • From: Babu (@ 167.68.1.66) on: Tue Sep 23 12:16:35 EDT 2003


    Exactly Naaz! Well said. This has been my complaint about KSC and KJY always, though the voice is absolutely amazing.



  • From: senty (@ 167.213.190.133) on: Tue Sep 23 13:36:51 EDT 2003


    Naaz,
    great posting.none of the mistakes you pointed out would have arised for a casual listener.one has to listen real carefully to know them.

    swargam is definitely malayalam :).

    "vidindhalum or nedunalum?" after lot of encores i came to the conclusion that it is vidindhalum cause there is a clear "dh" in the word.

    but i guess these are mineute black spots in otherwise a great song.So guess we should ignore them and indulge in this otherwise pleasurable song.


    udhaya,
    u r right the longing is beautifully expressed in those extended kanna's.the words seem to rise from bottom to top and linger at the top for a while... "kannaaaaa" "maalaaai" "malar choolaai".And the longing feeling is enhanched by the beautiful chorus.

    because it is a song on krishna by meera.. u can notice meera's "tumbura kind of instrument"(dont know the name) instrument on the prelude and interludes.


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 13:42:49 EDT 2003


    Mythila -

    Creative and Linguistic Licence is not an infinite concept. It, to be meaningful, still has to adhere finite notions and rules of clarity, nativity and ethos. When you sing a tamizh song ( glad to hear that you are a singer yourself) don't sing it like it is a song in your mother-tongue (if it isn't tamizh, that is) - sing it in a way that enhances the language and its riches in the eyes and ears of the native speakers. This is the only requisite. (of course, discerning native speakers/listeners.)

    MS-

    I have to disagree (slightly). Diction always belongs to the author (or the author's "pronunciation" for instance, if Vaali had to read Kanna Varuvaya, you could say that his expression was appropriate/commensurate with HIS "diction" . Singers, not being authors/poets, cannot be complimented for their diction. They can be appraised for their "pronunciation" of the Poet's "diction" or "style.") Hence, for bb to suggest that "Chitra's diction is superb" is misleading, as the diction does not belong to Chitra. "Diction" as a word falls in the category of the "spoken" (hence pronunciation) and "written" (hence style) word. Singing is neither spoken nor written - and usually, in the case of film music, is not the work of the "singer." It is a manner of "speaking" (on the page, or in front of the microphone) and the choice of "words." It has nothing to do with the art of "singing."
    Of course, you may use it the way you choose, as that is your prerogative, even if the usage is wrong.

    Suresh -

    Here's what I find really hilarious: To say that somebody consistently "malayalamises" tamizh songs, is,apparently, symptomatic of my "frustration" bubbling up because VJ is not popular! How insightful.
    Your phrase "Deviant worldview" would fit this overdetermination / interpretation of yours. I am not seeking answers to VJs lack of popularity - all the answers I seek to define my own sense of appreciation and artistry are present in her singing. Finders keepers, and I am happy in that selfishness.
    I have nothing to more to add except - if you like KSC and KJY over TMS and VJ - so be it (no need to line up in the front, you are on the guest list! :-)). At least, now I know where you are coming from - musically and geographically. And I also know what qualifies as "superb" around here - even if that word is used loosely and falsely.

    Babu -

    Thanks! Good to know that my "rude" rings "right" in some ears here.


  • From: MS (@ 129.252.26.46) on: Tue Sep 23 14:20:08 EDT 2003


    "Of course, you may use it the way you choose, as that is your prerogative, even if the usage is wrong. "

    Wow..Thanks, but I chose to use it the way webster suggested I should.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=diction

    The meanings listed are:

    1. Choice and use of words in speech or writing.
    2. Degree of clarity and distinctness of pronunciation in speech or "singing"; enunciation.

    If this is not aceptable, I am sure you are writing your own dictionary :-) It reminds me of (the story of )an old man who kept a blue book by redefining words ( 9th grade accompanying text)..and as u put it, if it was his way with life and language and why would I question that ?


  • From: ossi mathupo (@ 203.113.34.239) on: Tue Sep 23 14:44:49 EDT 2003


    infact few tamilians I know call singing as "reading", pAtu nalA padicharunga thane solluvanga!
    ayutha ezuthu (therefore )
    as per nazz dict ...bb is correct


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 14:47:10 EDT 2003


    MS -

    I don't want to take coals to newcastle (or ladoos to thirupathi) - but -

    If I were writing my own dictionary, then that would resemble my familiarity with OED, which has refined and honed my own usage of words:

    "Diction: A person's manner of uttering or pronouncing words." (I doubt Vaali wrote "paarkire" or "nadhi orum" or "vandhanal sundharavalli" (all chinna la, courtesy the singer.) If he had to read his song, I am sure we will hear the "n" "ra" and "naL" "vaLLi") That's my point.

    (None of the provided example refer to singers- even in the middle english annotated sourcing.)

    I also checked your link - Please look at all the examples provided (Burke, Crabb, De Quincey etc) all refer to Oratory (written and delivered by the AUTHOR.) Clarity, Accuracy, Discursive Variety - are mentioned as components (cf. my list of errors in the original post) - but it still pertains to the Author and her/his Spoken word.

    Selective references do a disservice to an honest discussion.



  • From: bb (@ 206.154.118.2) on: Tue Sep 23 15:06:18 EDT 2003


    Naaz, Amazing what people will nitpick and find fault with :) I don't see a problem with Chithra's diction in that song (yes, my usage is right, and Diction is commonly used in this meaning).
    BTW, sundharavaLLi?? way to go, towards perfect pronounciation.


  • From: vijay (@ 68.16.25.50) on: Tue Sep 23 15:10:06 EDT 2003


    Here is another link that defines "diction"
    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary

    Main Entry: dic?tion
    Pronunciation: 'dik-sh&n
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Latin diction-, dictio speaking, style, from dicere to say; akin to Old English tEon to accuse, Latin dicare to proclaim, dedicate, Greek deiknynai to show, dikE judgment, right
    Date: 1581
    1 obsolete : verbal description
    2 : choice of words especially with regard to correctness, clearness, or effectiveness
    3 a : vocal expression : ENUNCIATION b : pronunciation and enunciation of words in singing
    - dic?tion?al /-shn&l, -sh&-n&l/ adjective
    - dic?tion?al?ly /-E/ adverb

    "pronunciation or enunciation of words IN SINGING"

    Nowhere it says that its just restricted to the author.
    MS's reference is not selective.He merely pasted the exact definition. Selective reference is when you quote selective examples to prove your point.


  • From: MS (@ 129.252.26.46) on: Tue Sep 23 15:12:51 EDT 2003


    Naaz..I cannot help but just smile away. Anyway I am pursuing this war of (on ?) words no further. Let this remain SOTD and not WOTD for which one could join the mailing list of dictionary.com or m-w.com :-)


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 15:15:32 EDT 2003


    bb-

    I was just about make a correction in my typo (yes, all chinna La nevertheless) but my finger was still on "shift" L. Thanks for correcting that on my behalf, before I could. Appreciate it.

    -----
    Yeah, is just as amazing what people will lie about and call "superb." (what's the criteria??) :-)

    (You can use diction any way you want, bb. Kaasa Panama? :-)


  • From: bb (@ 206.154.118.2) on: Tue Sep 23 15:31:07 EDT 2003


    yeah, whatever, dude :)


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 15:43:12 EDT 2003


    Vijay -

    I am not familiar with dictionary.com, nor do I consider it to be any sort of authority (your link did not work, sorry.) Wgat is m-w.com?? (meaning of words dot com??)
    The Scribner-Bantam english dictionary (which is not exactly the definitive source for comprehensiveness) defines "Diction" as such: "Diction is a term that is applied to that choice and use of words by which an AUTHOR (emphasis mine) expresses his meaning" (gender specificity theirs).

    Why - look at the very etymology of the word - which you have provided: "proclaim, dedicate" both source (implicitly) the "author" (as in "J'accuse!")

    MS -

    One may smile and smile and...and I'm sure it looks good on you.

    Senty -

    Just noticed your post. Thanks for your encore listening and the still lingering "dh"oubts!:-)


  • From: vijay (@ 68.16.25.50) on: Tue Sep 23 15:52:06 EDT 2003


    Naaz, m-w is Merriam Webster. The link is
    http://www.m-w.com/

    If you have doubts that I "selectively" quoted anything you can type diction and check it out yourself :-))


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 16:17:02 EDT 2003


    Naazji, Now that you have defined the meaning of the word 'diction' so brilliantly, now I have a doubt as to what in your opinion is the correct diction of an author (say, like you) who could write a word 'vaazappazam' and pronounce it as 'vaaLappaLam'?


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 16:19:36 EDT 2003


    And kudos to you for getting into vaali and finding out how he would have preferred to have his songs pronounced. Great service to honesty!!!


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 16:20:58 EDT 2003


    ...also you can tell us how he wanted 'laalaakka dOl dappi maa' pronounced. Was that the correct diction vaali intended, sir?


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 16:21:10 EDT 2003


    Vijay -
    Let's try this one last time (without any links or sources.):

    Diction is a "literary" term. It means "To Speak" (from whence we get "dictum") with a clear/precise/accurate choice of words. That's why it is authorial and oratorial - (author's do sing their own ditties, as in a Mushaaira or Kaviarangam, and when they do, you can say that their "diction" was precise and expressive of what they were trying to communicate. Still, essentially, it pertains to "speech" and never to "singing")
    A singer does not "speak"; s/he "vocalises". And what's more, they are somebody else's words. Would you give Chitra the credit for Vaali's words/diction? Say she "expresses sincerely emotions of the poet's diction/words" and we may still meet halfway. But that's not what was said.

    Hence:
    To say that "so and so's diction is superb" is to attribute a literary component to a musician who has neither written the verse/song, nor is it correct usage. Let's turn it around: "Vaali's mezzo is superb!" See how the usage doesn't really work?

    bb -

    Here's right back at ya, dude!



  • From: av (@ 132.206.72.95) on: Tue Sep 23 16:22:03 EDT 2003


    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/

    Definition
    diction [Show phonetics]
    noun [U]
    the manner in which words are pronounced:
    [It is very helpful for a language teacher to have good diction.]

    (from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
    Cambridge University Press 2003


  • From: sarakku master (@ 207.24.185.12) on: Tue Sep 23 16:22:44 EDT 2003


    masaal dhOsai nallaa thaan keedhu.. aanaa uruLai kezangu En uruNdai'yaa illai'naa apram, adhukku innaaththukkubaa uruLai'nu pEru'ngraRaaru vaathyaaru? mmmmn.. :>


  • From: helppa (@ 203.113.34.239) on: Tue Sep 23 16:27:47 EDT 2003


    btw: is the song
    "palukuuuuuuuule then" correct diction
    for me it sounds like "decogtion"
    Sarakumaster can you help me.


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 16:39:16 EDT 2003


    kaNNu naazzu, vaalee's diction in that song is superb nnu sonnaa englishkaaran keezppakkaaththaala sirippaan kaNNu. summaa innaamO theriyaama sollipputta adhukku innaaththukubaa immaam rousu? udu nainaa!!


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 16:41:07 EDT 2003


    sarthaampaa!! allaarum peria mansu paNNi mannchi uttrungabaa. inimElttu naazu inga pilim kaatta maattaaru.


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 16:43:50 EDT 2003


    naaz's quote about honesty and hypocrisy...ROTFL :-)))


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 16:46:15 EDT 2003


    Amazing what people will accept and celebrate. But we're all so adept at traversing this thin line between hypocrisy and honesty, we can pat ourselves on the back to raising it to a lever of a fine art. soltaarbaa honestRaj!!


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 16:49:21 EDT 2003


    I think naaz's 'diction' intends 'level of a fine art' but his 'addiction' to typo made it a 'lever of a fine art'. First I read it as 'liver of a fine art' and thought this must be some new funda like diction funda.


  • From: SP (@ 65.69.81.2) on: Tue Sep 23 16:50:05 EDT 2003


    ay! English padikka daily inga vanthaa pOdhum pOla irukke! :)


  • From: vijay (@ 68.16.25.50) on: Tue Sep 23 16:51:40 EDT 2003


    Naaz, let me also try this for the last time again.. according to the Merriam Wesbter dictionary "diction " is

    vocal expression : ENUNCIATION b : pronunciation and enunciation of words in singing

    And so your comment

    "Still, essentially, it pertains to "speech" and never to "singing"

    is WRONG

    And I have read numerous reviews on Carnatic music in Hindu and other magazines where the word diction has been used in the context of singing and we all know that the singer rarely sings his or her own lyrics.

    Here is one:
    http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2001/10/25/stories/09250707.htm

    "Sudha's diction of the pieces, "Ambaniyirangayenil" (Atana) and "Mamavathusri" (Hindolam) reflected her grasp of their entrancing classical contents.
    "

    So, of course its used in the context of diction unless otherwise you think everyone else except you is wrong :-)


  • From: vijay (@ 68.16.25.50) on: Tue Sep 23 16:52:51 EDT 2003


    read the last line as "So, of course its used in the context of singing..."


  • From: Raj (@ 206.97.63.112) on: Tue Sep 23 16:53:01 EDT 2003


    Why don't we call it the Sandai Of The Day? Sandai(fight) can also be fun!


  • From: Prabhu (@ 156.153.255.134) on: Tue Sep 23 17:03:27 EDT 2003


    In Medhuva Medhuva(1st St, Anna Ngr) Chitra sings "kangal moodalle". Dunno if its her fault or the lyricist meant it that way. But it doesnt affect my opinion of her capability any bit.


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 17:12:23 EDT 2003


    vijay, good examples and clear logic. You nailed it!! But I am sure our honestRaj's ego is not going to accept it. Let us see whether he is an honest or a hypocrite.


  • From: after a looooooong time (^!^) (@ 207.43.195.203) on: Tue Sep 23 17:22:35 EDT 2003


    ai.....ivLo naa Richardson a thaan chellamaa Dic*son nu kooppidaraanga nu ninaichchaa, idhukku pinnaala immaam pereeya sariththiramE keedhaa?

    class mudinjaappuram yaaraavadhu Udit Narayan endha rank la pass paNNinaar nu sonnaa sowgaryamaa irukkum!


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 17:23:30 EDT 2003


    Vijay -

    I have some dear friends who are from TN, and tamizh speakers, who constantly use words like "irregardless" when they mean "regardless", or phrases such as "That I can able to do" (Adhai Ennal Seiya Mudiyum, literally) or "That costed us so much," or "They are shifting to another house."
    Tamizh/Southern/Northern journalists in India (or anywhere else, if you can give examples) are also prone to following "assumptions" without making the effort confirm or ascertain "foreign" literary usage (this may also be a result of the fact that an "indian" is essentially bilingual, if not trilingual.) Should that be excused? Ignored?
    Are they right? Should I tell them? Why bother?
    Should I be surprised that this leaks into print? Does that in itself make it right?

    It is not about me being wrong or you being right (to reduce our discussion thus far to such a binary does not speak of intellectual maturity.)
    Neither is this a "sandai". (Vengayam, did you say, "side-show" :-))

    Here's the subtext to all this: you (not you specifically) want to prop up mediocrity and faulty tamizh singing as "superb 'diction' as usual" - go right ahead. I'll just accept that to be your right.

    What's more amplified (to me) than "chitra's diction" is the silence of other posters (informed and astute ones) with regards to the song. When people move on to Gowri Manohari and Dharmavathi or violin interludes and chorus, and don't say a word about voice and pronunciation or singing capability, you don't have to be a brainiac to see what's left un-addressed. And deliberately so.

    Some might see that hollow as wisdom, and I occasionally do. But silence is also a form of abdication. And more than somewhat cowardly.

    RangA-

    What happened to Venki?


  • From: rajaG (@ 207.43.195.203) on: Tue Sep 23 17:27:43 EDT 2003


    Naaz-

    The "knowledgeable" posters did not talk about sruthi, thaaLam, layam, etc.? Are we to assume that, in your esteemed opinion, they were silent - hence there was a problem?

    The dogs did not bark! - Sherlock Holmes kadhai maadhiri irukkE.



  • From: sriram (@ 163.181.251.9) on: Tue Sep 23 17:28:49 EDT 2003


    Raj - idhukku peru dhaan dict-choom dict-choom:-)


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 17:32:24 EDT 2003


    Naaz, do not pretend you know me as you pretend to know the english language. you are exposed and you are one hell of a hypocrite not even to consider that you could be wrong against the majority here. You go on to equate your friends to some critic in the Hindu. You have never even produced one evidence of the usage of the word diction. Please do not talk about honesty.


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 17:36:25 EDT 2003


    rajaG -

    To talk about ragam thalam pallavi (inclusive of shruti, layam, prayogam) the people indeed have to be "knowledgeable" (I learn a lot from them, incidentally.)
    But to talk about simple things - like why is the ending in this word dropped, or what is this word (it sounds like neither this nor that) or isn'this inflection more that than this - all you have to know is the language, and know it correctly (and you don't even have to be a singer or musician :-))

    Oh, yes, the dogs did bark. But that only served to throw us all off the chase! :-)


  • From: rajaG (@ 207.43.195.203) on: Tue Sep 23 17:45:31 EDT 2003


    ummm..looking at all the posts so far - raagam thaanam pallavi seem to be far simple than the so called "simple things" like diction or the all encompassing "ALL you have to know is (just) the language" :-)


  • From: Jag (@ 35.9.20.114) on: Tue Sep 23 17:49:02 EDT 2003


    rajaG
    "the dog did not bark" from The Silver Blaze?
    "that was odd -Holmes"


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Tue Sep 23 17:50:04 EDT 2003


    "Tamizh/Southern/Northern journalists in India (or anywhere else, if you can give examples) are also prone to following "assumptions" without making the effort confirm or ascertain "foreign" literary usage (this may also be a result of the fact that an "indian" is essentially bilingual, if not trilingual.) Should that be excused? Ignored?
    Are they right? Should I tell them? Why bother?
    Should I be surprised that this leaks into print? Does that in itself make it right?
    "

    Naaz, so now I am to assume that both the dictionary as well as all the Journalists in South India are wrong while blindly accept what you say as the norm? Great! What else have you got? :-) I have to agree with Ranga in that you cannot extend the benefit of doubt to other posters even a wee bit in spite of authentic proof furnished by everyone else. I am YET to see concrete proof from your side for any of your assumptions.

    "It is not about me being wrong or you being right (to reduce our discussion thus far to such a binary does not speak of intellectual maturity.) "

    This coming from someone who doesnt trust the integrity of people he is discussing with accusing them of misquoting or selective referencing and what not ..:-) Hmm..hypocrisy


    "What's more amplified (to me) than "chitra's diction" is the silence of other posters (informed and astute ones) with regards to the song. When people move on to Gowri Manohari and Dharmavathi or violin interludes and chorus, and don't say a word about voice and pronunciation or singing capability, you don't have to be a brainiac to see what's left un-addressed. And deliberately so.
    "

    That depends on what the listener's priorities are. Simple. There are far more positives in Chitra's singing for any of the listeners to be fixated with just one aspect-PRONUNCIATION and even in that examples of her "mistakes" have mostly been proven invalid in the past.


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 18:28:46 EDT 2003


    Vijay -

    What more concrete proof do you want?
    Just take a close look at the word: Diction.
    And while you're at it also look up: Dictum, Dictate, Dictionary,Indict...If you still insist that those words refer "singing" - sorry guy, I have got nothing else. (I've given you the OED, SBD definitions, but those are flawed, as they don't mention "singing" anywhere - not even as the 10 or 12 meaning, even if it were "authorial" singing.)

    I guess the contrary example fell by the wayside ("Vaali's mezzo is superb.") Shoddy journalism (or linguistic grasp)is not exclusive to India. It is universal. So, The Hindu and "other" journals use the word "diction" the way you understand or recognise it. (They also use it "irregardless" of it being wrong.) I guess that must make it right.

    No, Vijay, don't "assume" anything. Seek it out for yourself. And don't settle for something only because it serves your purposes. Make sure it is - really,really RIGHT.

    I am glad you agree with RangA (and he with you.) Birds of a feather, I suppose (the majority is always right argument.) If that "strength in numbers" thing is the line that divides hypocrisy from honesty, truth from falsehood, approp from malaprop -
    Why would you wait up for me to give you the benefit of doubt? You are part of a crowd that's so sure about its sources and specifics - what should I say? Diction-less am I :-)


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Tue Sep 23 18:42:58 EDT 2003


    Naaz, the definition that I posted clearly includes the word "singing" and it is from 2 different sources on the net. Merriam and dictionary.com


    "Shoddy journalism (or linguistic grasp)is not exclusive to India. It is universal. So, The Hindu and "other" journals use the word "diction" the way you understand or recognise it. (They also use it "irregardless" of it being wrong.) I guess that must make it right. "

    Yeah right. They are all wrong, I guess.I mean eveyone of them is ignorant.

    In fact here is a book titled "A Handbook of Diction for Singers"
    http://www.oup-usa.org/isbn/0195120779.html

    Oh wait.. I know what you are going to say for this already..I know the author is ignorant and know nothing :-)

    "No, Vijay, don't "assume" anything. Seek it out for yourself. And don't settle for something only because it serves your purposes. Make sure it is - really,really RIGHT.
    "
    I am not the one who is assuming here. I have clearly backed my statements with published facts.

    And how would you know that you are "really really right"? Just because you say so? We have furnished enough proof of the word's meaning and its usage from diffeernt sources. Right now whats stopping you from seeing the facts clearly is just your own high self-esteem(read EGO). You seem to be a guy who always wants to have the last word in a discussion and I shall let you have it. I dont need to bother any further I guess. You are welcome to live in your own illusional world of "diction"s and contra"diction"s :-))


  • From: SP (@ 67.64.214.214) on: Tue Sep 23 18:53:43 EDT 2003


    intha aangilEya saniyanungaLa othaikkanum. oor muzhukka saniyan pudicha mozhi-ya parappittaanunga.

    Thamizh paattu pathi pEsara edathula dictionary...sigh... agaraathi(vEra artham illappaa!) pathi pEsa vachittaanunga asingam pudichavanunga.

    "vaarthai uchcharippu"-nu "damil"-la sonnaa yaemmaa intha kuthal, kudaisal, nakkal, naiyaandi

    che che... naaraasamaa irukkuppaa :-)


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 18:56:12 EDT 2003


    nazzji, american heritage dictionary fourth edition says
    SYLLABICATION: dic?tion
    PRONUNCIATION: dkshn
    NOUN: 1. Choice and use of words in speech or writing. 2. Degree of clarity and distinctness of pronunciation in speech or singing; enunciation.

    and Merriam-webster says

    1 obsolete : verbal description
    2 : choice of words especially with regard to correctness, clearness, or effectiveness
    3 a : vocal expression : ENUNCIATION b : pronunciation and enunciation of words in singing

    The point to note here is that the meaning you suggest is given by both dictionaries as #1 (merriam says it is obsolete. So you must be a very old guy. Did you live in the period of shakesphere ?) it does not restrict it to that meaning alone. They both clearly refer singing along with speaking in the other meanings. For your information, many english words have more than one meaning and more than one usage. Just do not harp on 'What I said alone is right' monologue. Others could also be right. That means you pointing flaw at other's usage is wrong. Case closed.


  • From: Raj (@ 206.97.63.112) on: Tue Sep 23 18:59:39 EDT 2003


    Naaz,vijay,MS,bb et al: I just wanted to see how far it goes! Diction is associated with singing. In this context it refers to enunciation. Obviously none of you had any exposure to formal training in music in the west. Nothing serious. One of my children was in the school choir. At the end of one performance, the teacher complimented him on his diction and suggested he consider music in college. She also recommended a course on 'Diction for singing' in the local university. My son did take music in college for fun, but piano and computer music.
    All you have to do is to visit some university website and browse the course listing in music . It will show a course on 'Diction in singing' for various languages. As you know, you need that course if you want to sing in French. Hope this settles it.


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Tue Sep 23 19:01:13 EDT 2003


    Ranga you cannot assume that the dictionaries are right.. you have to really really really seek out the ultimate truth :-)))


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Tue Sep 23 19:03:45 EDT 2003


    Raj, why dont you address that JUST to Naaz? :-)

    FYI, I have already posted a link for a book on diction in singing written by a Western author


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 19:10:35 EDT 2003


    Vijay -

    Yeah, don't bother. I shouldn't have either. One can only talk linguistics to people who are genuinely interested in linguistics. I'll keep my Ego. And you can celebrate your selflessness :-)

    (BTW "The Handbook of Diction for Singers" - that's a good one. Please read the introduction blurb (I did.) It is about "teaching" english "speaking" singers how pronounce to german, french and italian. In other words (sic) - what to do with the "english" phonemes, and how to alter/enunciate them when dealing with german "words" and "sounds."
    The handbook provides them (the singers) with the "words" and how they "work" in those languages. Hence the title - "Handbook of ((French, German, Italian)Diction for Singers."
    So - is the diction the singer's? No, the diction is of the french, german and italian languages (and the author who wrote that book for singers.)
    The book teaches the singer to "pronounce" "express" and "elong/shorten" the foreign words (diction) in the "right" way.
    But why bother with such a distinction, especially when I don't know what I'm talking about?)


  • From: prabhu (@ 156.153.255.126) on: Tue Sep 23 19:13:16 EDT 2003


    >>>I have some dear friends ....who constantly use words like "irregardless" when they mean "regardless", or phrases such as "That I can able to do" <<

    Vijay, that reminds me of a Chemistry teacher's classic: Each one take one one test tube and do the experiment separate separately!
    End dig....



  • From: Raj (@ 206.97.63.112) on: Tue Sep 23 19:16:55 EDT 2003


    vijay: Thanks for the link. I have a number of books on western music at home including the Oxford Dictionary of Music. It also says that diction in singing refers to enunciation. If you see my post Naaz appears first. Hope he reads it and browses the website of some music college or conservatory. Next time I will address only Naaz, if that is what you would like.


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Tue Sep 23 19:19:51 EDT 2003


    Naaz, the word diction has been used in the context of singing, thats all there is to it. If there can be "diction for singers" then there is nothing wrong in saying that "Chithra possesses good diction" .Simple. Its not rocket science. But I guess I can only debate so much with a person who speaks with a tone which conveys that the whole world is wrong and he is right, even after he is proved otherwise. I can continue to give more examples of diction being used in the context of rock singers like Billy Joel etc. but it would be a waste of time. When your ego has simmered down considerably you can do some google search yourself and find out the "truth". Although judging from how you have ignored the proof given by us so far from online dictionaries I guess its not going to change your stance much.


    Bye.


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 20:04:17 EDT 2003


    Vijay -

    Not so fast :-)

    Diction (vocabulary/words) is a component of written/spoken Language (any). Pronunciation/Enunciation, on the other hand, is what the singer/speaker does with the "diction" (words). Say that the singer has "superb P or E" and I'll say we're on the same team - wholeheartedly (cf. raj's "diction in singing refers to "enunciation" (of the words in that particular language.)
    In summation: Language always and already possesses "diction." (a body of words) If "diction" is used in the context of "singing" then it refers exclusively to the "words" in a song (lyrics - that's it.) Hence, the singer can be commended for the "pronunciation" of the "diction" (which is enunciation) of a certain language/song - but not for his/her "diction" - as that belongs to the author and his/her choice of words to express a particular emotion/sentiment/whatever - in any chosen language.

    Why is this such a hard concept to grasp?
    And what's egotistical about pointing this common misuse?
    And when did I say the whole world was wrong? I merely said that the usage (diction as terminology) is erroneous.

    Raj -

    I did not take any offense to your post. In fact, it had a line that I found to go to the heart of this discussion - which is about usage and terminology. Thanks for that definition from ODOM.


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 20:48:21 EDT 2003


    naazu, The majority is always right is a good argument because if the majority feels Chitra's diction is superb then that's what counts. And if the majority feels that 'saying chitra's diction is superb ' is right english then that too counts. appaala, nee innaaththukku inga koovikkinu keera?


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 20:52:57 EDT 2003


    diction cannot belong to the writer because as a mere word it has no pronounciation. Diction comes into play only when a word is pronounced. Diction in fact means how a word is pronounced. Where it is stressed and where it is lengthened etc. 'eppdi irukku udambu' can be written only one way but can be pronounced three different ways. That is where the diction comes into play. So it is clearly in the pronouncer's arena. (we have seen naaz's ego and honesty. Now let us see his tenacity!!)


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Tue Sep 23 20:53:11 EDT 2003


    Naaz, you can repeat the same thing again and again, it doesnt change anything unless you are willing to show us some proof that our usage of diction is wrong. So far, all definitions of diction shown prove our usage to be very valid.
    I see that you are ignoring this:

    vocal expression : ENUNCIATION b : pronunciation and enunciation of words in singing

    So Diction is equivalent to vocal expression.Its like saying "Chithra has good vocal expression". Or its like saying "Chithra displays good pronunciation of words". It doesnt have to do ONLY with the language as you keep repeating.There could be several meanings/usages for a word in case you didnt know that.

    And if you still think you are right and they are wrong you can always write to Webster-Merriam and let them know they are wrong.As a professional writer, I am sure you would be concerned about disagreeing with the rest of the planet on a simple word usage :-)


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Tue Sep 23 20:57:15 EDT 2003


    Ranga, dont sweat it out any further:-). Naaz already made up his mind when he claimed that bb "lied" and "erred".For someone claiming to be interested in having an "intellectual discussion" on linguistics he sure started off on the right foot :-))


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 21:12:03 EDT 2003


    Hey naaz,
    C&P
    And what's egotistical about pointing this common misuse
    I have to correct one more of your wrong english. We were talking about your ego. So you should be replying about your egoistical nature. egotistical means one talking about himself with a lot of usage of the word 'I'. We do not charge you of any egotism. only mere egoism. (We can now fight on egoism and egotism!!)


  • From: RangA (@ 192.127.94.7) on: Tue Sep 23 21:17:58 EDT 2003


    Has anyone figured out what the third way of pronouncing 'eppdi irukku udambu'? Please think about it and let me know when you figured it.


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Tue Sep 23 21:28:10 EDT 2003


    Vijay -

    "vocal expression : ENUNCIATION b : pronunciation and enunciation of ---words--- in singing"

    Crucial letters: "words" (lyrics in a song)
    And where do they come from? Language.
    Who chooses/writes them? Poet/Lyricist/Author.
    Does the singer choose the words? S/he only enunciates. Hence the qualification as "ENUNCIATION."

    What your definitions have shown so far (which you seem to have consistently missed) is that they make a distinction between "diction" and "enunciation" - (cf. intro to Handbook of Diction (words) for singers.)

    But your latter qualification is bull's eye: "Chithra displays good pronunciation of words/diction." Yes! (if you think that to be true.)
    As opposed to "Chithra possesses good diction." (Which she might, on her own, when she writes a letter or gives a speech written in "her choice" of "words" from a language.) As proof I will point to the ODOM definition provided by Raj. It makes a categorical distinction. And that's what I have been saying all along.
    Here's a corollary: "So and So possesses superb ragas." Is that possible?
    Now: "So and so possesses superb prayoga of ragas" Isn't that possible?

    Diction and Pronunciation are not interchangeable, unfortunately (the former is a component of language (even if unspoken, it still exists,) the latter is the "articulation" of that part of the language.) But you're in good company - RangA (appreciate your terms of endearment, BTW) is sure that diction means how words are pronounced.
    Are there more where these linguistic leaps (and freaks) of faith come from? I'm sure there must be.





  • From: isaiosai (@ 135.214.42.162) on: Tue Sep 23 22:14:14 EDT 2003


    bb, please don't mention SJ or KSC as the female singer. Mention the singer as VJ. 'Amazing what people will tolerate and celebrate';-)


  • From: isaiosai (@ 135.214.42.162) on: Tue Sep 23 22:25:01 EDT 2003


    What an IRony!:-)


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Tue Sep 23 23:03:54 EDT 2003


    Naaz, you are just twisting what Raj said. Raj never said that the words have to be Chithra's own anywhere. Thats just a figment of your imagination. However Raj did say:
    ". At the end of one performance, the teacher complimented him on his diction"

    In other words the teacher said that his diction was good, which is the same way bb has used it.
    He said "Chithra's diction is good". There is nothing wrong in it.

    diction doesnt merely mean "words" of course, it refers to the enunciation/pronunciation of the words and can be used synonymously.That the words have to be Chithra's OWN is not stated anywhere, its just needless extrapolation on your part.The words might be the author's but the pronunciation or enunciation or the diction is the singer's.

    I understand that you lack proof for validating your assumptions, but that doesnt mean you have to invent one :-)

    "Diction and Pronunciation are not interchangeable"
    I am sorry but the dictionary says otherwise.

    "Are there more where these linguistic leaps (and freaks) of faith come from?
    "

    I dont know, but I am sure you must know more about it:-)


  • From: Udhaya (@ 67.127.125.159) on: Tue Sep 23 23:30:23 EDT 2003


    bb,
    machi, oru paravai muniammaa paattai adutha paattaa eduthu udu. muniammaa pronunciation pathi yaaraavathu paesinaa keesiduvaen.



  • From: RangA (@ 66.125.203.47) on: Wed Sep 24 00:48:37 EDT 2003


    Hey naaz ,
    I understand your difficulty. You had blabbered something. And we instigated your ego. Now you cannot go back on your words. So you blabber more. Unless you are a true gentleman you cannot accept defeat. ozinji pO mavanE!! Go on about misinterpreting other things ridiculously.


  • From: RangA (@ 66.125.203.47) on: Wed Sep 24 00:54:38 EDT 2003


    naaz, explain what is diction? If it is not interchangeable with pronunciation, it is not interchangeable with 'words' either. Or is it? (By your own grammar school?) In the sentence 'naazamaa pORiyaa?' what is diction?



  • From: RangA (@ 66.125.203.47) on: Wed Sep 24 01:01:36 EDT 2003


    a : vocal expression : ENUNCIATION b : pronunciation and enunciation of words in singing

    Why did you leave out 'vocal expression'. That was also a meaning for diction. Now tell me which is the keyword here and how is this related to the lyricist. vocal expression comes from voice and expression. Right? Or what is your double somersault twisted meaning here. I am interested.


  • From: RangA (@ 66.125.203.47) on: Wed Sep 24 01:06:03 EDT 2003


    Naaz, let me misinterpret that in your way.

    Vocal expression: Keyword expression.
    Who expresses ? The Lyricist.
    How does he express? Through words
    So the singer just vocally transforms the expression of the lyricist..that is ..transforms the diction of the lyricist.
    Hey..it is very obvious..


  • From: RangA (@ 66.125.203.47) on: Wed Sep 24 01:09:28 EDT 2003


    another empirical equation.
    Singer belongs to the lyricist.
    Proof (by Prof. naaz)
    What does the singer sing ? SONG
    So the singer belongs to the song.
    But who does the song belong to? The lyricist.
    So using set theory and DeMovier's theorem every singer belongs to the lyricist.


  • From: vijay (@ 68.51.215.28) on: Wed Sep 24 01:15:04 EDT 2003


    Ranga your (mis)interpretation reminds me of how Janakaraj finds out about "Villupaattu" in Aboorva Sagodharargal :-)))




  • From: Lord LabakuDas (@ 12.162.224.6) on: Wed Sep 24 02:40:26 EDT 2003


    the first thing i did was to search for the word 'diction' in bb's post..Thank God..:-)


  • From: bb (@ 12.234.176.52) on: Wed Sep 24 02:48:46 EDT 2003


    LLD, yes, Bharathidasan's diction was great in this song :-) :))))





  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Wed Sep 24 11:57:14 EDT 2003


    Senty -

    "I got a basic doubt...
    there are lot of words that have more than one meaning.. can't 'diction' be one such word.which has 2 meanings depending on the context in which it is used...??"

    I hope this query is genuine, and I will do my best to address your interest in understanding with sincerity.

    Your post (a few lines) is a good place to begin:
    You ask (speak) a question, and in the act of framing that question, you choose appropriate words (from a whole body of words in a language) and arrange them into sentences. That choice and ordering of words you speak, is YOUR diction (or a sample of your "vocabulary." ) An arrangement of sound patterns - "words"

    How well you utter the sound patterns/words (a unit of language) you have arranged as you pose your question is PRONUNCIATION/ENUNCIATION ( if you check both these terms, you will find them to be synonymous.) You can mispronounce everything, but you will not be denied your diction (your choice and ordered expression of words.) That will still remain.

    Is Sol the same thing as Uchcharippu? (they both pertain to speech) Sol (word) always remains a unit of language. Uchcharippu changes from person to person. What are the multiple meanings of "Sol"?
    Your answer to this question of mine will also be the answer be the answer to the question you pose (to me.)


  • From: rags (@ 12.234.176.52) on: Wed Sep 24 12:16:59 EDT 2003


    naaz, can you start another thread on diction and continue there.. let the SOTD go on here.


  • From: Jag (@ 35.9.20.115) on: Wed Sep 24 12:41:42 EDT 2003


    NagaS (answer to an old response),
    The lyrics from Unnal Mudhiyam Thambi seem like the dubbing versions of the original telugu songs which had lyrics by Seetha Rama Shastry.
    I wouldn't be surprised if the lyrics of UMT were by Rajashri or whoever does good dubbing poetry from Telugu to Tamil.


  • From: Naaz (@ 24.87.30.219) on: Wed Sep 24 12:49:44 EDT 2003


    rags -

    I appreciate your suggestion, and will not raise this issue here - again.
    Just curious: Why single me out when there have been other discussants who have had more posts on this topic than me? At least I have been civil in this exchange throughout, which you must have noticed?



  • From: rags (@ 12.234.176.52) on: Wed Sep 24 12:57:58 EDT 2003


    Naaz since you started this topic, I specified your name.Thanks for your understanding.