R. K. Narayan

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Why does R. K. Narayan call his essay "Toasted English"? Justify how it is suitable title.

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Narayan begins by observing that in American restaurants customers order English muffins by calling for "toasted English." He then says that the English language in America may be said to have gone through a process of "toasting" to render it more suited to American palates.

Toasted English is more informal and lacks the passive voice, substituting the exclamatory "Don't Walk!" for "Trespassing Prohibited." The vocabulary is also narrowed, with certain all-purpose words taking the place of many different words by which shades of meaning used to be conveyed. Narayan gives the example of "check," which replaces "find out, investigate, examine, scrutinize, verify or probe." He notes various other ways in which Americans have made minor changes in English so that it is more apposite for their society and culture.

Narayan ends by wondering whether it is time for a Bharat brand of English, which will accommodate Indian needs, as "toasted English" does in America. The use of the verb "toast" to mean "adapt to local requirements" is precisely the type of flexibility he suggests, hence the suitability of the essay's title.

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