Cent percent - I get it now!


Recently, on this forum, there has been some discussion of the differences between Indian English and standard British or American English. Also, I've been chiding Sanjay over his use of "cent per cent"


British and American English speakers generally co-exist well. Yes, there are differences in vocabulary, but we generally understand what the other means.  The same is true of the small differences in grammar and spelling. However, I realized that, for me, there are elements of Indian English that I, as a native American English speaker, did not understand.  So I started reading.


I found some wonderful usages that make me hope they find their way into American English. "Longcut" -- as in the opposite of shortcut. "Seri was late to the party. She took the longcut."


I alsofound that "cent percent" has a meaning in India that is not intuitive to the American ear.  We tend to hear cent as meaning 1/100, although at its root it means 100 -- for instance, centennial. Perhaps this is because for Americans, one cent is a penny or 1/100th of a dollar.


Today, I discovered that in India, the phrase "cent per cent" means 100 percent. We learn something new everyday. Sorry Sanjay.

edited Jun 03 '12 at 01:56 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

That threw me, as well. Thanks for the explanation. But what's with this AJ character?

Lewis NeidhardtJun 02 '12 at 22:06

I really like "longcut". That's a fantastic word!There isn't a strong enough word to describe the absurdity AJ's "answers". (Not one I should useon a public forum anyway.)

Jody M.Jun 02 '12 at 23:02

No kidding. I saw 47 answers and thought Pribyl had invented a new part of speech.

TolleyJun 02 '12 at 23:26


Jeff PribylJun 03 '12 at 01:56

Sir, This usage has been written by J. Sethi, an assistant Professor of English, Hyderabad, which is one of the reputed institutes in India. They publish books on Indian English usage versus Standard English usage, which is deemed to be accepted by the native speakers all over the world. Henceforth, I would say you are one- hundred percent correct. I believe that I have made myself clear. Sir, I have learnt another usage from you. Great help! I trust that unlike other native speakers, you have completely engrossed yourself in the English language to find something new. It would be very helpful to all the English learners if you could write a book on the English usage. It will be sold like hotcakes.

sanjayJun 03 '12 at 02:39

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KimberlyJun 05 '12 at 09:49

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