Thursday, January 7, 2016

Endless Stupidity

I have excoriated the Speak Good English Movement in at least 60 blogposts by now and I'm reluctant to go on endlessly. But they continue to generate rubbish on their Facebook page and in their website and I'm compelled to counter them. It's a case of meeting endless stupidity with endless criticisms.

I have said many times before that anything that the Speak Good English Movement posts on its website or writes in a book MUST be wrong. But that's of course not true. They do sometimes get their grammar right but even in instances when they are not outrageously wrong, there is sure to be something about what they say which will make you feel a little uncomfortable. You are sure to get this impression that perhaps they are not sure of themselves or they probably don't understand fully a grammatical point that they are trying to transmit to the rest of Singapore.

I'll give you an example. Supposing someone posts a little poster, commonly called an internet meme, with the title "NOUNS" and in the poster are these two sentences, presumably to illustrate what nouns are:

He is a BOY.
The BOY is crying.

You will probably wonder why there should be this fixation on 'boy' as a noun. Surely on a poster about nouns, a responsible teacher would not dream of giving the same noun, boy, as an illustration of what a noun is. But because everyone knows what a noun is, you may not suspect that the originator of the poster is unclear in his mind what a noun should be.

Now, look at what Singapore's Speak Good English Movement posts on its Facebook page today:

Upon reading the examples given on the poster or meme, I immediately asked myself if the Speak Good English Movement really knew what correlative conjunctions were. Both examples were the either...or conjunction. I then read what the Movement wrote next to the meme. It may just be a brief single sentence but it's enough to tell me that the Movement knows absolutely nothing of correlative conjunctions.  This is what they wrote:
You can use correlative conjunctions to avoid repeating words in a sentence.

Good Lord, no! That's not the use of the correlative conjunction at all. It's not designed to aid brevity. At least that's not the purpose or function of the correlative conjunction.

'Not only are they illiterate, but they are also clueless about grammar' is useful both as an example of the correlative conjunction and as a statement the Movement might want to consider for their corporate motto. 

Incidentally, there are two correlative conjunctions in that single sentence.

This is not the first time the Speak Good English Movement has shown itself to be totally incapable of explaining any aspect of English grammar. I have written more than 50 blogposts pointing out the many errors of the Speak Good English Movement and others. If you are interested, here is a page with links to all the articles I've written in this blog on the subject of language.

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