by prof henry higgins doolittle, Donplaypuks®intrepid correspondence for manglish affairS
ONE FINE MORNING AT SM SUBANG PASU (SECONDARY SCHOOL) AT 8 A.M.
Good morning, everyone.
We’ll let’s begin today, the first day of school, with English 1.01, which you must master if our nation is to achieve its target for Information & Computer Technology (ICT) by 2020. We have to start anew. Forget what you learnt in the past.
For today, we will go through some very basic ‘do’s and dont’s. Then, to complete the course, over the next six months, we will start tomorrow with foundation work, i.e. bricks and mortar stuff – grammar - and move on to punctuation, sentence construction, pronunciation, conversations, essays and precis.
(All) Yes, teacher.
Let’s start with Verb/ Adverb and Noun/Adjective. A verb indicates some form an action and an adverb the type of action e.g. He was driving fast. `Driving’ is the verb and ‘fast’ the adverb.
Similarly a noun describes an object, person or thing and an adjective describes the noun e.g. ‘This is a red ball.’ Ball’ is the noun and ‘red’ is the adjective.
Now, repeat after me ‘e’ before ‘i’, except when ‘c’ comes first.’
(All) ‘e before i…..’
Good. That’s why it’s ‘achieve’ when c comes first, but ‘neither’, when there’s no c.
Also, remember the either/or and neither/nor rule. E.g. ‘Neither he nor his friend skipped school.’ Or ‘You should use either plastic or plain brown paper for your text-book covers.’
Repeat after me.
(All) ‘Either/or and …….’
Excellent! Now, especially, Indians. The phrase ‘isn’t it’ only applies to sentences which start with ‘It’ in the form of a question, e.g. ‘It is true that you were absent, isn’t it?’ ‘Isn’t it ‘ and ‘is it’ are not a phrases to be attached universally to any and every sentence which is a question, UNDERSTAND!!
(All) Yes, teacher.
‘Isn’t it’ cannot be used in ANY of the following types of sentences:-
‘You were going home, isn’t it?’ - WRONG!! Since ‘were’ is past tense, the question should be ‘weren’t you?’
‘Lingam was going to make a phone call , isn’t it?’ - WRONG!! Since ‘was going’ is past continuous tense - the question should be ‘wasn’t he?’
‘The children will be playing football, isn’t it?’ - WRONG!! Since ‘will be playing’ is future tense - the question should be ‘won’t they?’
‘You think I am a trolley-dolly, is it?’ – WRONG!! You think I am a trolley-dolly, do you?’
Understand? Please repeat after me.
(All) Excellent! Now especially Ind…….
Now, the Chinese. You cannot include the word ‘one’ wherever you like in a sentence e.g. ‘I wish to deposit some cash in my bank account one.’ Or, ‘Why you so like that one?’ or ‘When you talk like that one, I don’t know what to say one. ’The word ‘one’ should be left out completely in these instances.
Also, get this right!! ‘Rai’, ‘Latok’, ‘Can I lend your badminton racket’ or ‘Eh, borrow me your pencil’ should be Right. Dato. Can I borrow your badminton racket. Eh, lend me your pencil.
Also, you should pronounce these words properly – It is ‘try’ not ‘tchai’, ‘special’ not ‘specer’, ‘die’ not ‘dieded’. Tiew Bor? Repeat after me!!
Now, the Malays – Wis, Lah, Kan, Steady-lah brudder, Jom – these have no place in English language. Do not drop d, t and s at the end of words e.g. ‘comment, not commen,’ ‘experiment, not experimen’ ‘defence, not defen, ‘depend, not depen.’
It is ‘with’ not ‘wis.’ It is 'that means' not 'that's means.'
Now all repeat after me, ‘The following Malay and Chinese words may not be included anywhere in an English sentence, in speech or in writing –, Alamak, Adoi, Shiok, Leh, Mah, Lor and Kaninawi. E.g ‘Come over to my house, lah’ or ‘Adoi, what happened to your face?’ or “When you buy that T-shirt you get another one free lor ’ or ‘I went to pay the bills, mah!’ or ‘Kaninawi, what did you call my father?’ or ‘This ice cream, very the shiok one.’
(All) ‘Now, esp….Malays…..’
Good. Next, repeat after me, ‘it is ‘Total’ not ‘Thothal’, ‘Tomato’ not Thomatho.’ Similarly, ‘better’ not ‘betther’ etc. etc In English there is no silent ‘h’ after the letter ‘T’ or ‘C.’ In particular, for proper nouns, e.g. if a person’s name is Chandran, you may not spell or pronounce it ‘Candran,’ or spell it as ‘Cina’ when you mean the country ‘ China.’. Don’t pronounce ‘Canada’ as Chanada. It should be ‘Chit Chat’ not ‘Cit Cat.’
(All) ‘It is Total not Th…..’
Good. Now repeat after me, ‘There are no such things as ‘American English’ or ‘Microsoft English.’ Hence, it is ‘nationalise, not ‘nationalize’. criticise not criticize, demonise not demonize, neighbour, not neighbor, rumour not rumor.
(All) There is no such thing as Am….
Good. Now for some major pronunciation errors by local TV newsreaders and those from a neighbouring unknown country across the causeway. Repeat after me,’Some capitals of countries in Asia are,’ Tokyo not Thokyoh, Jakarta not Jicarter, Taipeh not Thighpay, New Delhi not New Del Hee.’
(All) Some capitals of……
Good. That is all for today. For homework, to be passed up Wednesday, please complete Exercise 1 – 3 in your English Reader for Idi… er… no, Beginners.
That’s all for now Teachers. There’s a long way to go, another six months at least, before I let you loose on Secondary 1 students.
(All) Thank you, Teacher Trainer!!
dontchplaypuks® with my english man!!