‘’In this blog Rakesh Saraf talks about some interesting and amusing usages in Indian English.’’

Do you ever feel that your life is full of words that you have said, spoken or written without fully understanding the consequences of what you have done? How often have you looked back at your life and thought to yourself….”I wish I had never said that”? Life is full of missed opportunities for unpeak.

Unspeak is the act of taking back your words of the previous minute, the previous day, week, month or year. In such a manner that you had never said those words, or written them in a letter, email or a text message. Whatsapp allows you an instant delete feature, but it does not allow unspeak. I think nature has been unfair to us by not awarding us the facility of unspeak.

Not sure whether you feel this way or not, but my life has been full of opportunities for unspeak. I remember writing love letters as a teenager, that I actually mailed (ahem, then it was snail mail), which I could never take back. Or, of saying I love you to someone and not meaning it. Of saying something hurtful to someone and not realising it till much later, when it was too late.

Is silence a better option than “speaking your mind” (which includes writing it too)? At least then the need for unspeak disappears. But is that not a cowardly way to live? I have said and written many things, some true, some not so true, that I wish I had not. I cannot take them back, and no amount of apologizing or retraction will make up for those blunders when they occurred. In a careless review of an employee’s performance, I once made a hurtful comment. The comment was not intended to be hurtful, but hurt it did. I was never able to convince that employee that I did not mean what I said.

“The truth shall set you free”. Who is the moron that said that? I do not think it is a valid saying. Saying nothing rather than saying something hurtful is preferable in my opinion. As often as not, when I have tried to be blunt and honest, that bluntness and honesty has risen and bitten me in the ass. That is when I have wished for the feature of unspeak.

Will science or technology or the newer AI and all its tools one day invent a way of creating unspeak, where something that you have written, spoken or messaged can be unspoken in a way that it not only disappears from its hard form, but also disappears from the eyes, ears and minds of the recipient of the original “speak” which necessitated the concept of “Unspeak”?

I want to hear from others if they have ever felt that unspeak is a desirable facility to have in one’s life. Do let me know what you feel. I am signing off in this post as……….

Mr Big Mouth


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