Sunday, March 11, 2007

Um, a WHAT occasion?

Location: Macdonald's, Queensway Shopping Centre.

This is from last September. Um, a WHAT occasion? No, wait, I don't think I want to know...


Blogger le radical galoisien said...

What is the error basically? Three words can theoretically be joined into one node, can they not?

Thu Mar 22, 06:31:00 pm GMT+8  
Blogger Sprezzatura said...

'cum' is a Latin preposition with a very specific usage.

Here, as in many places in Singapore, it is used (incorrectly) as an equivalent for 'and' or '&'.

'cum', in colloquial English, has an additional meaning that makes this sign, not to put too fine a point on it, somewhat saucy.

Fri Mar 23, 01:04:00 pm GMT+8  
Blogger le radical galoisien said...

etymonline (

" popular Latin phrases (e.g. cum laude), or as a combining word to indicate a dual nature or function (e.g. slumber party-cum-bloodbath) ..."

Plus, I can see how it can go beyond "and", in the sense of "running concurrently" as opposed to "running consecutively".

The only real potential problem I see is the use of bare infinitive "celebrate" used to modify the phrase, like one would use in Chinese, rather than say, making it into a noun. (lantern festival celebation) But even that is arguably acceptable, just like one can say, "I am going for a run."

Fri Mar 23, 06:37:00 pm GMT+8  
Blogger Sprezzatura said...

'Celebrate' here appears to be an imperative, not an infinitive. 'run' can be both a noun and a verb because the noun and verbal forms are identical. Not so for 'celebrate'.

There is no way around this - the use of 'cum' here is wrong and not only infelicitous, but downright indecent.

Fri Mar 23, 08:18:00 pm GMT+8  
Blogger le radical galoisien said...

When it's used to modify a noun, rather, e.g. as an adjective, verbs can be used in this manner.

Compare "a welcome home party". The idea of "welcome home" has been encapsulated as a phrasal adjective to modify "party".

Sat Mar 24, 12:24:00 am GMT+8  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home