Friday, January 30, 2015

I urge the Speak Good English Movement to do the only decent and honourable thing

What do respectable people do when they discover that books printed by their organisation are so erroneous that you can hardly turn to a single page that does not contain some egregious blunder? Surely the least they could do is to withdraw the books from the market?

I was in Kinokuniya Book Shop this afternoon and I saw that disgraceful English As It Is Broken (Volumes 1 and 2) on the "Linguistics" shelf. Can you imagine such a piece of trash sitting on the shelf with other books on Linguistics?

I have in more than 30 or 40 posts in my blog shown quite conclusively that you cannot turn a page in either volume of this piece of execrable work without encountering some shocking error in grammar. And it purports to be a book on good English grammar and usage.  A list of all the posts that I have published on the errors in this book can be found in my MASTER LIST of the blunders of those I have termed "grammar terrorists" - people who tell others they are wrong in grammar when in fact they are the ones who know practically nothing about the rudiments of English grammar. Like all terrorists, they attack innocent people when they are the ones who are wrong in every sense of the word.

Just who are these shameless people who have the effrontery to advise others on grammar when they know absolutely nothing about it? Who is responsible for this book? In both volumes, the Speak Good English Movement is clearly the main culprit behind the book (both volumes). That is one reason why I am up in arms against that silly Movement. You will see in my MASTER LIST that I have also been into the Movement's new website and they show the same lack of knowledge of basic English grammar that is the hallmark of this book.

In Volume 1 of the book English As It Is Broken, the "panel of English language specialists" is said to be from the Ministry of Education. The back cover of that volume says quite unambiguously,
This publication is made possible by the Speak Good English Movement and the Ministry of Education, which provides us with the expertise of its English Language specialists.
For reasons that we are not told, the Ministry of Education pulled out completely from the second volume of that disgraceful book. There is no mention of the Ministry anywhere in the book. This time, we see this on the back cover of the second volume:
This publication is made possible by STOMP The Straits Times, the Speak Good English Movement, and the National Library Board.
All this and the fact that some of the contents of the book appear on the Speak Good English Movement's website tell me that the book is of course the work of the Movement.

It behoves members of the Speak Good English Movement to do the decent thing by pulling the book out of the shelves of book shops all over Singapore and to warn members of the public not to be guided by this most erroneous book. We must bear in mind that the book has been and continues to be a bestseller in Singapore schools and the Movement owes a moral duty to stop misleading students. I have shown instances in some of my posts in this blog of perfectly grammatical sentences written by students which were butchered by the "language specialists" who insisted that the students edit their sentences to conform to the specialists' mistaken rules that fly in the face of the rules of Standard English. This is totally unacceptable. We are talking about students who started out with correct grammar only to have their language ruined by the "specialists". It's highly dishonourable of the Movement not to make a clean breast of this their most embarrassing blunder.

This is my personal blog but instead of writing personal matters, I have devoted a large chunk of this blog to the wrongs of the Speak Good English Movement. But as long as they have not done the decent thing, I cannot rest. Of course apart from apologising to Singapore for their unpardonable errors, they should also resign from the Movement. I have shown that they are not fit or equipped to be the nation's language watchdog. I would suggest that this silly Movement be disbanded.

We don't need a Speak Good English Movement and certainly not one that has shown itself to be totally devoid of even the most basic knowledge of grammar.

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