Friday, November 25, 2016

National Errors

In many of my earlier blog posts, I have said scathing things about the Speak Good English Movement. And there is perfect justification for what some may wrongly see as my overreaction. In many of these blog posts, I merely expressed surprise and sometimes horrified shock that the Speak Good English Movement could be so incredibly wrong in almost everything they wrote. Click on the above link if you want to experience the same shock at what the Speak Good English Movement is capable of. Don't forget - these are the people who say categorically that 'Alan and George works as a team' is grammatically acceptable.

Sometimes it is possible to tell by someone's error where he's from. Some errors can be categorised according to national boundaries. What makes the Speak Good English Movement so peculiarly bad is not only do they make language errors that are commonly found in Singapore but they also make countless errors that no Singaporean ever makes. When it comes to English grammar and usage, the Speak Good English Movement is just irredeemably and hopelessly abysmal and as I have repeatedly said, the only decent thing to do is to disband the Movement. Singapore does not need an English Movement which is totally clueless about English grammar.

Most organisations aren't that bad. Yesterday, I received an advert in my letter box from a private school called Eye Level. It's a glossy colourful flyer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Illiterate Graduates?

Singapore is a land of paradoxes. It's such a small island that you can't even run a marathon in a straight line without hitting the sea and yet it's a huge economic powerhouse and it tops the educational charts every year and is recognised as the country with the best educational system in the world.

But there are other paradoxes that Singapore can't be proud of. I have shown in more than 80 posts in this blog irrefutable evidence that the only thing Singapore's Speak Good English Movement knows about English grammar is perhaps the spelling of the word 'grammar'. Apart from that the Movement is totally ignorant of English grammar and usage and it has been giving erroneous grammar tips since the day it started and continues to dish out 'advice' on grammar that is so obviously wrong that I am compelled to dub it Singapore's Illiterate Movement.

Recently, I posted a photo of a poster in the National University of Singapore that contained a surprising error.  Shortly after that, I posted another illiterate poster this time from the Land Transport Authority. Just yesterday I took this pic of an ad by NUSS (the National University of Singapore Society) which proudly calls itself on its website 'The Graduate Club'. The ad appeared on a shuttle bus in NUS:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

What my crystal ball says about the new era of President Trump

The world will soon be abuzz with news of the world's most fashionable First Lady of all times. She will be what Lady Diana used to be but without any of Diana's many problems. She has poise, charisma and incredible good looks. She is one of those women who look fantastic from any angle and at any moment of the day. She will be the next major trendsetter in the world of fashion.

The English language is alas inadequate in describing such a woman succinctly. The only word I can come up with that fits such a description is 'Trumptastic'. I predict it will be the first new word to be accepted by the OED in 2017. It's not a word you can use lightly on just any pretty woman. To be Trumptastic, you've first got to be 'unbelievably beautiful' (if I may borrow her husband's favourite phrase). 'Trumptastic' can only be used to describe a woman of exquisite beauty and elegance. And in recognition of her husband's love for superlatives and perfection, the word must always be spelt with an initial capital or, better still, all letters in upper case and it should be followed by no fewer than three exclamation marks - TRUMPTASTIC!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Puzzling prepositions? Why grammarians should stop being contrary.

No, there's nothing puzzling about the preposition. The OED and all other English dictionaries are very clear on what a preposition is. It's just that sometimes, some grammarians think they need to spice up grammar a bit and that's when they do funny things.

Let's look at these sentences:

1. He came after breakfast.
2. He left before I had drunk my coffee.
3. What did you do it for?
4. He felt bad, for he knew he was wrong.