Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wanted: S - Dead or Alive

Location: Causeway Point
They're open for only one hour?

Location: Somewhere in Woodlands
Parking lot for lorries and bues

Location: Outram Park MRT station entrance
Push-chairs and a wheelchair.

10 Comments:

Blogger Mickell said...

Cool! :D Keep up the good work on spotting bad English around :D

Wed Jul 19, 04:56:00 pm GMT+8  
Blogger Mickell said...

Bues must be new buses that float on air without wheels. Ha, ha, ha...! :D

Wed Jul 19, 05:15:00 pm GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we sinkaporeens vedee proud of our bloken inklish cannot meh

Sun Jul 23, 10:50:00 pm GMT+8  
Blogger Paddy Tan said...

Bues... the new breed of buses that will finally be on time? :)

Mon Jul 24, 07:48:00 am GMT+8  
Blogger HairyFairy said...

gawd, i neber knew singapurr's standard would drop to that level. waw.

Mon Jul 24, 03:21:00 pm GMT+8  
Blogger The Wolf said...

Oh man... LOL.

For the longest time, one of the prominent foodcourt chains here have been displaying "No outside food is allowed to consume here".

Well, no problems there... I don't have the habit nor intention of letting my food eat me... or anyone else for that matter. :P

Mon Jul 24, 04:14:00 pm GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

while i agree that examples of bad english abound in singapore i wouldn't presume that it exists as a way of life here. in fact, i would argue that the examples provided here do not reflect much of what happens on the ground but are merely errors by made by a small number of people who

1. communicate in cannot-make-it english (see, singlish makes life so much easier!). That's what happens when you transition from Chinese-speaking first generation to an English-Chinese speaking second generation. We will certainly improve our language capacity in future, but this cannot happen overnight.

or

2. people who make genuine mistakes from their lack of attention to detail. In other words, the bad english here that stems from utter carelessness. I firmly believe that many errors arise from carelessness.

thus, to claim that the standard of english in singapore is appallling is to essentialise what the government has assumed of us all along - that we can't speak english and need intensive english-language education from native speakers.

I say, give us some credit. we're not that bad.

Mon Jul 24, 05:42:00 pm GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god, purists are such pain in the ass[es]. language is a construct and will forever be organic, so just let it be! are you going to edit our posts as well? there are some glaring errors from my previous post for your pleasure. take it apart and have fun!

Mon Jul 24, 05:51:00 pm GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way, if everyone wrote in perfect english we wouldn't need editors anymore. that would put quite a number of people out of job!

Mon Jul 24, 05:53:00 pm GMT+8  
Blogger Sprezzatura said...

Anonymous at Mon Jul 24, 05:42:50 PM SGT:

You make a good point - obviously we differ only on how much bad English exists 'as a way of life here'.

1. We both look forward to improvement, but I'm not very hopeful, to be frank.

2. Lack of attention to detail could very well be the explanation for many of these mistakes. Still, the devil is in the details, and it behooves all of us to be careful all the time, particularly with material intended for publication. Ignorance and carelessness do not preclude culpability.

While we think the standard of English is appalling, my own position (and I have no idea what the other contributors to this blog think about this) is that 'intensive english-language education from native speakers' is not the solution. Gods know being a 'native speaker' of English doesn't mean all that much, and having lived a decade in London, I should know! The solution lies in reviving the teaching of formal grammar.

You're probably right - we're not, as a whole, that bad, but this blog exists to lambast and poke fun at examples of engrish in Singapore. If we were here to provide an analysis of the state of English in Singapore, or promote Good English, this would be a fair comment. We are not here to provide a 'balanced viewpoint'.

Anonymous at Mon Jul 24, 05:51:59 PM SGT:

Yes, purists are 'pains in the ass[es] (sic)', but then you probably thought the same when your mummy spanked you for sticking your tongue out at strangers and being a right pain when she took you to the supermarket.

True, language is a construct and will forever be organic - but it may be subject to forces that wish it to simplify, forces that wish to strip it of nuances and shades of meaning, as well as those who appreciate playing with language. While we're at it, civilisation and social norms are constructs too, and it is our sensitivity to language (a decided sign of civilisation) that marks us apart from the apes. Would you have us discard those too?

We won't 'just let it be' - the course of a language is steered both by those who impoverish and maul it as well as those who succour and enrich it. I fully intend to be on the side of those who succour and enrich it. I fail to understand your rage and admonishment to 'just let it be' - we don't go around intruding into the private spaces of others as Grammar Nazis. What we do, we do within the confines of this blog. If you don't enjoy what we do, don't visit, and in your own words, 'let it be'.

We have no intention of editing your post - this is an Engrish blog after all, and contributions, even within the comment pages, are always welcome, providing much-needed amusement.

Anonymous at Mon Jul 24, 05:53:52 PM SGT:

If everyone wrote in perfect English, we wouldn't need editors anymore, putting a number of people out of a job? Yes and no. An editor is there not only to correct English (which really shouldn't require correcting in the first place, if the journalist is even halfway decent), but to edit writing, shaping it and rephrasing where the writing requires it. A skilled editor is an artist, not merely a sieve.

However, by the look of it, most of these editors should be fired anyway, and competent ones hired.

Tue Jul 25, 08:14:00 pm GMT+8  

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