Use of idioms by the all knowing lady doctor from Dehiwala
Posted on July 15th, 2012

Asada M Erpini

One of the writers to your journal “”…” a lady who uses the title Dr. before her name – continues to keep the readers amused as always. She obviously thinks she is qualified to write on every topic under the sun.

 The topics on which she writes are legion. Sometime back, in her piece to a widely read English daily, she lambasted women for wearing slit skirts, although Sri Lanka does not ban such dresses, as in her model country in the Middle East that she wants the 93% of the population that do not belong to her faith to emulate. Then, there was a write up castigating Sri Lankans for using the betel sheath during welcoming ceremonies or as a mark of respect to parents and teachers: chewing betel causes oral cancer, she said and that these forms of unhealthy practices should be banned, she continued, to safeguard the health of the people. She obviously knows what is talking about “”…” after all, she is a doctor, or does she? It is not the betel leaf that causes oral cancer but the areca nut that people use in the betel chew that is responsible for initiating the damage. Sinhala people do not offer areca with the betel sheath, and, in fact, the more correct form is to include a neatly wrapped cured tobacco leaf: all and sundry know that the offering is not to be eaten or chewed. 

 The lady, I am told, originates from the periphery of Kandy that in no manner can be categorised as a sophisticated metropolis, and also if she now resides in Dehiwala, she obviously has a moral obligation to be aware of “”…” not approve of or value “”…” some of the traditions practised by a large majority of the nearly three quarters of the Sinhalese population of Sri Lanka.

 Now, she comes out with her fantastic piece on wedding gifts, in her write up to Lankaweb posted on 14 July. She points out that her Prophet (PBUH) has said, “Do not refuse gifts”¦”. She naturally forgets that 93% of the population of Sri Lanka belongs to other faiths, and it is questionable whether these millions will want to go by the teachings of her Prophet (PBUH).

 The icing on the cake is the lady doctor’s use (misuse?) of an idiom, which the readers who know some English should cherish. She says, “everyone tries to keep par with the Jones”. An idiom, according to the Oxford dictionary, is “a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words”, although there may be occasional variations. Additionally, idioms are culturally relative, and the number of Jones, as referred to by the learned doctor, there in Sri Lanka will be a valuable revelation. The important feature in idioms is that an individual like me who has managed to learn a few words of English has no right alter them: either use them in the correct form or don’t touch them with a barge pole. The correct idiom in this context is, “to keep up with the Joneses”, which means “try to emulate or not be outdone by one’s neighbours” (Oxford Dictionary).

 Dr. Mrs., please keep on with your good work: you give a hilarious start for the day for many of the readers.



4 Responses to “Use of idioms by the all knowing lady doctor from Dehiwala”

  1. mjaya Says:

    :D :D :D :D :D

    That is what all Lankaweb readers experience after reading the articles by this “Dr.”.

    Anyway lets take a moment to be aware of the fate awaiting our Sri Lankan sister Rizana Nawfeek and hope a little more awareness of her plight will somehow help free her from deathrow for a crime she didn’t commit.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    That’s true. Dr Mareena is Dr Mervyn of Lankaweb!
    I pity her patients!! But laughter is good for your health.

    Hilarious, imposing and a bit clownish!

    Anyway I agree with the Islamic teaching DO NOT REFUSE GIFTS. That is the civilised thing to do even in the SL culture.

    But her Saudi barbarians rufuse the gift of forgiveness to Islamic Rizana Nawfeek. Thank god she has passed the DANGEROUS age of 8 in Saudi. Otherwise OMG (PBUH)!!

  3. sena Says:

    “The lady, I am told, originates from the periphery of Kandy that in no manner can be categorised as a sophisticated metropolis”… Seemingly the writer is also providing some amusement in the process of making fun of others. May be the writer is bloated with pride of her ability to add a Colombo metropolis postal code at the end of her home address. One has to remind the writer that the sophistication of Colombo is derived from sucking all the productivity in the provinces as well as pleading loans from the world while contributing nothing to the economy. This non productive and expensive lifestyle is one of the main reasons for the present balance of payment crisis.

  4. callistus Says:

    Please don’t harass my favourite contributor to Lankaweb. She writes the most amusing things. Mareena, please don’t get distracted, keep us entertained.

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