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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Chp 753. Misheard.

You know, it's pretty normal to mishear some words and assume that is the correct one until years later when you realize you have been wrong all along. It can be such a shocking realization, right? Like, as if your whole life had been a lie?

This is especially common with song lyrics.

For a long time I thought the lyrics of Saigon Kick's "I love you" was "I may not have the grace of bread is stale, I may not have the mind of young". After all, those were the days when we used to write down lyrics of our favorite songs by listening to the song repeatedly on our Walkmans. And to rewind some parts, we would remove the tape cassette and wound it mechanically with our Reynolds pen and put it back in to save battery life :D

It was many many years later that I realized the correct lyrics of that song were actually, "I may not have the grace of Fred Astaire, I may not have the mind of Jung". In my defense, I didn't know who Fred Astaire and Jung were, and it made sense to have "the mind of young", though I did wonder why stale bread was considered graceful :P

Likewise, I can go on and on about many of my notoriously misheard lyrics. However, this post isn't about song lyrics.

This post is about my all-time top misheard sentence, and it is regarding a very common Mizo announcement that we hear frequently in Mizoram.

In our Mizo society, whenever somebody from a particular locality passes away, an announcement is made over the community loud speaker to inform everybody in that locality about the deceased. All this time, I have been hearing that announcement wrong!

So, during my recent vacation, my dear friends Jaqueline, Jerusha and Josie came over to my house. As we were just chilling and having fun and joking, I joked about one of our friends dying and mimicked the announcement of her death.

It was then that all three of them suddenly burst out laughing. They even asked me to repeat what I had just said, and when I did, they laughed even louder!

So you see… :D Here's what I ALWAYS thought that Mizo announcement said…

"Hriat tawh chungchang a…"

I just learnt after almost 40 years of existence that the correct announcement was actually, "Chhiat tawh chungchang a…"

For my non-Mizo visitors, "Chhiat tawh chungchang a…" means "Regarding the demise of…" whereas "Hriat tawh chungchang a…" means "Regarding what we've just heard…"

And so that was what I ALWAYS thought the announcement used to say - "Hriat tawh chungchang a…" Because by my logic and understanding, the PA announcer was informing the public with news that he had just heard, hence, hriat tawh chungchang a.

If he hadn't heard that news, then he wouldn't have been able to inform the public naw? And as he informed the public, he had to let them know that it was a news he had just heard, hence the reason why he was informing them in the first place. See, it all makes perfect sense. :)

Without hearing, Watson would have never heard Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone wouldn't have been invented (imagine no cell phones today!!) or… Horton would have never heard a Who! or… The Heights would have never sung "How Do You Talk To An Angel?" because he couldn't have heard her voice in his mind :)

See the importance of hearing!

Hence, "hriat tawh chungchang a" makes total sense now. In fact, I think our YMA should change it to this because of the amount of sense it is making. It is the most sensical thing to say in the history of senses! :D

Plus, "chhiat tawh chungchang a" sounds very… sad and depressing. We know the announcement is going to be about somebody's unfortunate demise. Do we really need to be blunt and direct about it? Instead, saying "hriat tawh chungchang a" sounds more soothing to friends and family of the dearly departed, don't you think?

My friends Jerusha, Jacqueline and Josie said they will start a petition to ask the YMA to change it to "hriat tawh chungchang a", and I wholeheartedly support them. Do they have your support too? Let me know.

Until then, cheers.

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