Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bad English vs Bad Attitude

The Star has this section which allows readers to spot and publicly humiliate people with poor English usage, called Mind Our English. It created a whole new breed of stuck-up, snobbish people who think that their English is sooo good, who submit photos of signage or labels with bad grammar and/or spelling, who make (in my humble opinion) insulting comments or jokes on these mistakes. I would think the ridicule acceptable if these mistakes were committed by professionals (eg, the academicians: I have heard this from a fellow lecturer - "Are you cook yourself every day?") or were spotted on official government property. However, some were simply handwritten cardboards signs put up by farm owners, hawkers, coffeeshop owners - the likes. One can imagine they probably didn't had much knowledge (nor the need to know much of) the English language. (No, I am not being discriminating) So is it really fair to point out (and make fun of) their errors in public? Give them a break! Another thing I absolutely cannot stand is how some of these peacocks make fun of how people pronounce certain "English" words which are actually not English to begin with - brand names originating from French, especially (the most famous examples: carrefour, peugeot). How can you label a person as having poor English for not knowing how to pronounce a word which is essentially French? Cacat.

My readers may conclude that I appear to be a hypocrite, since I too, have a habit of pointing out and making public (as "public" as my blog could be) certain mistakes made by others. Well, sure I do - but I don't insult people like snobs do. (Do I?) If I want to quote and make fun of all the bad English that I encounter everyday, I wouldn't have time to breathe. I only quote those that are unusually interesting and amusing, such as the following:

Would you believe it, I saw on this online album of what looked like a wedding ceremony, with this title: Wedding Day - Broom Arrival. I was sure the author meant "Groom" instead of "Broom"! Afterall, the letter "G" is adjacent to "B" on the keyboard, and a typo like that is absolutely possible. Just a typo, I told myself. And then... I saw the next album, also of the same wedding ceremony, labeled: Wedding Day - Broom meets the Bride. A little romantic alliteration? Maybe. No, I am not going to make any derogatory remarks about it. ;)

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