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“The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale”
-(Puck in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream)
So was the word aunt anciently applied to any old woman. Aunt has long been an awkward term. In addition to insinuating age, it often adds layers of class and race. In American English, auntie has been recorded as “a term often used in accosting elderly women”. In 1984, a similar use in communist China was noted where auntie meant a maid servant. The Indian usage has evolved rather differently. Before it took a bit of mocking tone given to it today, auntie managed to combine both respect and familiarity, but with a distance. Auntie shows the way of being polite to a distant presence of one who never happens to be ours.Do Indians treat English as auntie tongue? Unfortunately, they do. Their feudal culture frowns on accepting it as a very close one but with a distance. English is an auntie tongue in that it gets laid off at a respectable distance from the inner sanctum of the Indian discursive system. That’s to say, our communication matrix relegates English to the role of an “other” (auntie). Auntie English is an entertaining narrative about English being accepted by Indians as a colonial legacy hanging like an albatross around their necks. Divided into short chapters, this book would take the reader through an amusing journey to show how English has been given an auntie-like treatment in India.