I live in a small island where English language is butchered. We verbally abuse the language by mixing it with other languages and create our own concoction of highly-grammatically-flawed English. As a person who loves languages, it pains my heart to live among the abusers but I can’t pretend that I’m not one of them. Does that make me a language masochist?
To let you get a taste of it, here is an example:
English: “What if he doesn’t come?”
Our version: “Later if he doesn’t come how?”
The equivalent of “what if” in our speech is “later if”. The difference is “later if” usually, if not always, ends with “how?”. I was discussing with a friend and we agreed that it is one of the most absurd phrase. Let me show you how ridiculous it is.
Example: “later if he thinks I am crazy how?” (what if he thinks I am crazy?)
Firstly, later might not happen.
Later represents an unknown future date in which an event is expected to occur but there is a huge possibility that later, which may refer to later when you do the action suggested in the preceding dialogue or just an ambiguous later date, might never happen.
Secondly, if might not happen.
“Later if” connotes pessimism. Thus, “if” represents an undesirable event that the person anticipate to happen. Again, most likely the event will not happen. Even if it happens, the result might not be as grave as expected because you have already expected it.
To put it simply, “later if” is a joint of two unfavourable events which might not happen. It is like a double what ifs! Why would you say what if what if this or that happens? Do you see how absurd it is? or am I sounding absurd.
I am not sure if I am more affected by the absurdity of the words or what it means to live in a society where “later if” is often used. In any case, I think we should stick to “what if” which sounds less negative and use it in moderation.
If not, later if we all use the phrase often how?