Wednesday 11 November 2009

The MULTI fascination

America is referred to as 'multi-cultural' or 'multi-ethnic.' Now that was something in use for quite some time but off late there are many such 'multi' which are in use. This word has become so ubiquitous that it has become a cliche which absentmindedly embellishes conversations. 

The idea of 'multi-tasking' is spoken about by everyone especially women who are efficient multi-taskers. When we need to go out for a decent meal, we find 'multi-cuisine' restaurants which offer delicacies from various parts of the country and sometimes this 'multi' also extends to cuisines of other countries. Whether the taste is authentic Chinese or Thai requires another post to debate!

Now for hospitals -  There are 'multi-specialist' hospitals where we can consult with the dermatologist, endocrinologist and many other logists under the same roof. How can I forget the gym which has 'multi-fitness equipments' to work on each part of the body and make it aesthetically laudable.

Take the vitamins which have almost become mandatory in everyone's diet supplementary. They are again 'multi-vitamins.' The most common of the uptown crowd - 'multiplexes.'

These are some of the 'multis' that  raise their hood everywhere that I am almost  wary of them.  The  idea of 'one,' 'single,' 'unique' is slowly losing its sheen. But why? Can't something be only one and yet offer the best. Can't a restaurant offer only South-Indian and yet be special and unique. Of course by prefixing 'multi' the idea of 'many' is stressed. Fine. When America is called 'multi-ethnic,' it portrays a picture of unity in diversity but my question is whether that unity is present in reality or the word is just another hype.


  1. I love that word 'MULTI', I mean MUL- guess we see more 'multi' coz we are becoming more 'multi faceted'. As for America being refered to as multicultural, multiethnic is not a hype, it is a real thing. My husband being multiracial and living in a multiethnic, multicultural community, i can say that inspite of the color or origin, they are all 'Americans'.There might be cases of racial tension but i think it's dre in every country.By the way, we women should be proud of ourselves for multi tasking career and family and kids, welcome to the era of 'mul-tie':D

  2. great post, susan!!! great thoughts! i SO know what you mean! and agree!

  3. The word that was was 'cosmopolitan'. For instance, Bombay is a cosmopolitan city they said (rem: NCERT Social Science Text books). It could be an adjective to anything having different elements! but I don't think it was used that way.

    As for Multi...the more the better these days, even a phone, if we can talk/listen to music/click pix/browse/make docs/live tv/ what it seems is made easy with adding multi to anything! To live up to it, I think is difficult though

    Good Night and Sweet dreams

  4. The issue I was raising is the about the sudden raise of the word 'multi' and not about America. Somehow this word seems to create a homogenised pattern rather than welcome diversity. I might be wrong here.

  5. Homogenised as in a whole set of words prefix multi before them? then Yes! What they say it is the 'in-word'

    I think, nobody except ppl like u and me who learn english grammar for grad or pg or more actually bother abt the etymology as opposed to the current usage, what say

    U've got mail lady!




Related Posts with Thumbnails