In today’s ST Life! section, there were many letters about the dreadful English spoken by Miss Singapore/World during her interview on Razor TV.
How bad could it be? I went in to have a look at it:
It was quite funny, probably because the girl was trying to slang and speak like an angmoh. She was obviously nervous, and ill-prepared for the interview.
Most letters to the press criticised her pronounciation, as well as the support given to her by the Chairman of the Speak Good English campaign and the beauty contest organizer, who had claimed that half the Singapore population speak like that. One letter blamed her teacher for not teaching her well, another blamed the judges for picking her.
The funniest letter must surely be from Dr Woffles Wu, the flamboyant plastic surgeon, who thinks the way she speaks is adorable. He wrote, "she is just gorgeous and "Boomz", whether or not she wears a "piss of rad bigini" or ‘duck gins with leopard and zibbra preens". Now, this is one instance I can’t tell if the letter was being sarcastic or sincere.
I applaud MOE for taking the initiative to train young Singaporeans to speak better. It’s difficult. Even in an English speaking home like mine, my kids speak poorly and I have to keep correcting them, although they’d say i make the same mistake as well, which I’ll admit.
These are what they most commonly do:
1) Use the word ‘got’ for a past tense.
I got eat breakfast this morning.
I got play piano this afternoon.
2) Use ‘never’ in place of ‘did not’:
He never wash his hands.
You never close the door.
I never take your book.
3) Attach the word ‘always’ in their accusation:
You always leave the light on.
You always …
This I’ll admit they probably learn it from me.
4) Missing verb:
I using it still…why you take?
There are probably more, but I hope in time to come, we’d eliminate all these mistakes when we speak. (See, me included.)