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Mandar Rane
Associate Professor

Industrial Design Centre
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
W: 022- 25767839
H: 022- 25768839


Manacles of Language
Every “name” has its own inherent strength to express what it signifies. With this strength,
the name tries to encapsulate its meaning and picture in the viewer's mind. It often happens
that we know someone by his name, but actually have never met him. Unless we meet him
in-person, we keep on trying to visualize / guess his personality, which sometimes meets our expectations or leaves us surprised. This is quite applicable to anything, be it, a place,
person or a thing. A diner normally encounters oneself with similar situations when
he / she visits Indian restaurants and is greeted with (bilingual) Menu cards.

The english word chopsticks is a terrible and ugly distortion since you don't chop anything ever
with them. In China the word is “kuai-zi”, which sounds like “fast fellows” because their use results
in swift and agile handling and eating of food. Roland Barthes, in Empire of signs, eulogises the use
of chopsticks: ”... the instrument never pierces, cuts, slits, never wounds but only selects, turns,
shifts, separates, unravels; they never violate food”.

Asit Chandmal, 2004, 16th May, The chinese book of rules
Indian Newspaper: Midday (Sunday), pg. 18