The Literary City

The Suresh Menon Guide To Assassination And Lesser Forms Of Literary Criticism

March 09, 2022 Explocity Podcasts Season 1 Episode 11
The Literary City
The Suresh Menon Guide To Assassination And Lesser Forms Of Literary Criticism
Show Notes Chapter Markers

The largely unspoken reason why so many people believe good grammar is a thing to diss, is because speaking English well is associated with privilege—the better you speak it, the more likely from privilege you must be.

Shaw's Pygmalion was vitally devoted to illustrating class distinctions by language; My Fair Lady, its pithy, entertaining adaptation.

To excuse the incorrect  use of grammar, some others say that language is a mutable thing and the rules of grammar should, and did, change with time.  If this were true, it would not explain why there is zero tolerance for bad grammar and syntax in writing and reportage in most languages other than English.

Politics—and excuses for one's shoddiness aside—there is the celebration of expression.

Literary writing uses nuance and the subtlety of words and phrases to celebrate thoughts and ideas. In the culinary analogy, literary writers might choose one word over another for a soupçon of meaning—in the same way that a good chef might use a brief hint of thyme, to delight the diner with a discerning palate.

You might accuse my guest Suresh Menon of a discerning literary palate.

He is a well-known cricket writer. Not only in India but anywhere. I know this to be true. I checked.

His newly-minted book is Why Don’t You Write Something I Might Read, the title of which, he explained, is because his wife—presumably fatigued by his volumes on cricket—asked him that question.

It probably caused Suresh to skip a beat… because his book is subtitled, Reading, Writing and… Arrhythmia.

Suresh Menon points out that the world has seen a number of literary writers writing on their favourite sport: Vladimir Nabokov on chess, Joyce Carol Oates on boxing, John Updike on golf and Ramachandra Guha on cricket.

But Suresh drove opposite to rush hour traffic. He is a sportswriter who wrote a book on literature.

His delightful book is available everywhere that books are available and it is the sort of book that makes you want to meet the author. 

So dive into this episode and allow me introduce you to the author, Suresh Menon.

You can buy the book here:


...or is it "TO THE MANOR BORN?"

Co-host Pranati "Pea" Madhav joins Ramjee Chandran in the segment titled "What's That Word?"—or maybe Ramjee  forgets to mention its title—to discuss the phrase, its meaning, and of course, its etymology. A delightfully funny segment.

If you have a word or phrase you would like to explore, join us live on the show. Reach us by mail: or simply,
Or, Facebook:
Or Instagram
If your word or phrase is selected, we'll call you.

Join our Facebook group, Bangalore Literary Society. It does not matter if you are not in Bangalore. This group is for anyone interested in language and words.

The Literary City encourages you to give to those children who struggle to get an education.  We ask you to contribute whatever you can to The Association of People with Disability. The link to donate is: Visit their site and take a look at the wonderful work they do and find it in your heart to, well, teach a child to fish.

What's That Word - TO THE MANNER BORN