karod

It’s just amazing how much money you can throw away with no return for no damn good reason.

Some of it is just lost coins in your couch, change dropped on the street, maybe a dollar you see disappearing through a sewer grate… maybe a twenty blown into the lake. Ouch.

Some of it is theatre tickets you forgot about. “When was that show?” [Checks tickets] “Um… two days ago.” Some of it is hotel or airline bookings made for the wrong day or the wrong place and not discovered until too late. Ouch!

For some people or companies, some of it is due to a misplaced comma or decimal in a contract. Now, that can really hurt.

Whatever the dumb reason, it’s all gone. It may as well have been carried away. Well, it’s close: it’s karod away. Or anyway, it’s karod.

Karod is money that was but is no longer – or anyway is no longer in your pocket, and you didn’t get a damn thing for it. It’s what you paid for something you didn’t get to enjoy, like the ice cream that tumbled from the cone onto the sidewalk, or the cup of coffee you promptly dumped into the garbage while trying to put the lid on it, or the growler of craft beer you dropped on the way out of the store. And it’s what you didn’t even get to enjoy paying because it blew out of your hand or got chewed and swallowed by your dog.

Does it seem like that kind of thing happens ten million times in your life? That’s probably not too great an exaggeration, at least on a logarithmic scale. Do you reckon you might have lost ten million dollars – or even ten million pennies – that way? Oh, I hope not. But some companies have.

Why ten million? Well, if you do a Google search on karod, you’ll immediately find some Bollywood hits that have the word in their titles. Karod, in these cases, is a transliteration of करोड़, phonologically rendered as /kə.ɾoːɽ/, which has been borrowed into English as crore. It means ‘ten million’.

I could say that that’s also the source of karod. To some extent, that would be true. But it started with a random draw of Scrabble tiles. It’s a new old word. I wish it were less useful than it is.

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