Archive for April, 2005

‘Speak Singlish Proudly, Speak English Properly’

Saturday, April 30th, 2005

Yk was talking about his new slogan for the language movement, ‘Speak Singlish Proudly, Speak English Properly’. What bothers me greatly is that there is even a need for such a movement. Whose fault is it that it seems there are a large number of Singaporeans who cannot differentiate between Singlish and English, and who cannot switch between them when the occasion calls for it?

Blame the Gahmen? Possibly. After all, we aren’t born with the ability to read and write. That’s what schools are for. But then again, I went through the educational system, and I do not have that problem. I’ve no difficulty switching between a pseudo-American accent, Singlish and just plain proper English like most of what I’m typing right now.

Why is this even so important? Because the very basis of communication, is the need to be understood. Is faking an accent considered being a poser or wannabe? Yes if you’re doing it when you should be speaking Singlish, no if you’re doing it so that you can be understood by the people you’re speaking to.

Maybe it’s because I come from an English-speaking family. Or maybe that is irrelevant. I can assure you, we don’t speak the Queen’s English at home. In fact, I think we speak more Singlish than English, and I only realized that when my stepdad kept telling my mum to watch less Chinese shows, and to not use so much Singlish.

But certainly its not all the Gahmen’s Government’s fault. True enough. I believe that one of the reasons I have a decent foundation in English, was that my parents made an effort in teaching me the basics, even before I entered pre-primary. I was made to read this whole series of 12×4 books called ‘Peter and Jane‘, with each number increasing in difficulty.

I always argue that my basics in English have been pretty much set after primary 6. I attribute a large part of it as a result of being forced to complete a series of exercise from a book called ‘Primary English’ during English classes. Maybe it has in part to do with being thrown out of EM1 Chinese, and made to undergo EM2 English lessons while the Chinese class was in session. I won’t go into too much detail, because then, I would be questioning the educational system in regards to how Chinese is being taught.

Surely someone has an answer to this phenomenon? I personally believe the Singapore Education system is not the best that it could be. I can’t say that I know of another country’s who has a better system. Why can’t the Gahmen pay people to research all the major educational systems, pros and cons, and come up with a better system then the one we have? Or have they already?

Ladies and Gentlemen, if they have, our country is doomed. Maybe you bloggers can help our country out, by listing the pros and cons with our educational system, suggestions on how you think it can be improved, or other systems existing in other countries, which you think might help, if parts of it were implemented in Singapore. Regardless of all my rants, I want my kid to be educated in Singapore. That isn’t anytime in the near future, so maybe it’s time to start thinking about changes. I would happily compile any posts related to this matter on this site, or if Singapore Angle would wanna, it’ll be fine by me.

Let’s get those brain cells cracking.

Evolution Favours Infancy

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Not so long ago, Mr Steve McDerott proposed a notion that blogs in Singapore are “skewed towards ‘infantilism'”. While not attempting to refute or support his opinion, a more neutral alternative will be used to term such blogs ‘social‘.

The latest happenings along with a web symposium exposed a number of mature blogs in the blogophere. However, such blogs, given the maturity of the content, are more threatened by legal action, as opposed to social blogs where ramblings are not seriously taken and defamation usually dismissed as immaturity. We have already seen in the past weeks how legal action threatened against one blog led to the closure of several others. It will only takes one lawsuit to cause a domino effect on such blogs in the blogosphere.

Who would want to go through the burden of a lawsuit even if you have a strong defence? It’s much easier to close down and shut up given the mentality infused into us.

Thus following the theory of evalution, if the situation persists, such mature blogs would be killed, leaving the social ones to thrive. And people outside will look in, wondering where all our intelect went to. Such is life in Sg.