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In InE, you'll find a lot of headlines/sentences using 'waterlogging'. Say--

  1. Waterlogging at the Central Railway Station caused traffic jam in the peak hours

Now, as I refer various dictionaries online, this seems to be an incorrect use. Because 'waterlog' is a verb

waterlog - to fill with water....

In the context of heavy rain, the 'adjective' waterlogged seems to be more appropriate as in...

  1. Waterlogged Central Railway Station caused a traffic jam in the peak hours

Now, 'waterlogging' as a gerund the way Indian media uses for a rain-filled area seems to be wrong. Because, waterlogging means something different. It is more agricultural.

So, which one is proper? 1 or 2?

I'm interested what native speakers say when they want to refer to 'waterlogging' like this --

enter image description here

Note: 'waterlogging' search on Google images brings in actual result of fields and crops. So, this supports my question that 'waterlogging' referring to water-filled roads in rain is improper.

1 Answer 1

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"To waterlog" (to become full of water) is how the word is used in nautical contexts. A ship's hold may waterlog. Certain boats are touted as having a design that "won't waterlog".

The most common day-to-day use of waterlogged in American English refers to things that are soaked or saturated with water. A rotten wooden board at the base of an exterior window might be waterlogged. A sponge can be waterlogged. The ground and the soil can be waterlogged.

I think most native speakers of American English would say that the water in a waterlogged thing is not moving or flowing, but standing. We would call the street in the photo a flooded street, and the headline would probably read Flooding Causes Traffic Jam.

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  • Aw..it's India... and there's no 'flood'. It's solely due to poor drainage system. The waves you see are 'created' by people/vehicle. Here are other images of what Indians call 'waterlogging' google.com/…
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 9:32
  • Does Mumbai mean "wet place"?
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 9:35
  • No, Mumbai is an Indian city often 'flooded' with heavy rains. :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 9:36
  • yes, 'flooded' is better in this sense. I misunderstood it at first! +1
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 9:47
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    @MaulikV Yup. Flooded is excellent. Think of a flood as "a significant amount if liquid or water that is where it shouldn't be".
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 21:43

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