Archive for the ‘Grammaticalizationism’ Category

Anger moves people. I have just seen the proof. What started as just an anonymous noise about grammar has now turned into a personal attack. Sayangnya. It’s a shame, though, that people take things negatively much more easily. But then bagus juga ada yang terasa pedas sebab dia yang makan cili. Dan kadang-kadang sebab kita tau kita dibaca lah kita menulis, ye tak? Keep on writing. Keep on reading. And keep on assuming my noisy grammar entries are all about YOU. Yes, you…sir. (And yes, your editor and I have had lots of fun exchanging stories about how ‘langit-dan-bumi’ your blog is to your books! Wanna hire a blog-editor? Bah!)

p.s. Oh, by the way…Abang Ekhsan, ciguku bilang 3 dots jak cukup. 4-dots is only at the beginning of a sentence that is preceded by another (but omitted). But if too complicated, 3-dots is the most common. Nda mo lebih bah itu. Kasih.

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I am not sorry I caused the stir. I am not going to apologize for the shit that hit the fan (and hit that empty space right between your ears). I don’t mind if you don’t leave any ungrammatical comments in my Inbox. Good for you! Peace for me! In fact, I am glad you now read your own writing, check your own grammar, spelling and punctuations, and consciously feel that disgust brewing every time you write. Vain if you have to be with your PhD now. No worries…you own every little drop of blood, sweat and glory tears – the cost of your very own vanity.

Good for you, Dr. Quack.

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Suddenly I scared everybody!

From writing, sms-ing and especially from leaving a comment on me bloggies. Muahahaha! Baru gertak pasal grammar, dah termati segala pucuk untuk menulis dan mengomen. Well, actually I am the kind who is easily impressed. Enough if you send me short text messages spelling everything out, capitalizing the first word in every sentence. If your sms is shorter than 160 characters, tulis je lah in full. Guna je lah auto-speller ke, spell-checker ke, wood-pecker ke if you have to.

Instead of “Hw zt gng?” – supposedly a sentence that only takes 10 characters inclusive of spaces in between words, tulis je ler “How is it going?” Sama je bayor 12 sen Celcom rates 10 characters ke 160 ke. Plus the auto-speller will do it for you twice if not thrice as fast than ‘hw-zt-gng’ that makes me somehow think of Awang Goneng, Peter & Zanariah Gawan Taylor’s initials (PZGT) duduk atas gunung. (Funny how my brain works – I should have asked for a CT Brain Scan together with my mother at the Kecemasan Kritikal HUKM yesterday.)

Yes, I am very particular about writing it grammatically right with correct punctuations, spelling, grammar, you name it. But my kecerewetan hanya terbatas to those who are supposed to hold a very high standard of the language being written in. I enjoy looking up to rather than looking down on these so-called experts. And the language in question is konechno pa-ingliska (of course English) lah kan. Indaklah Kedazan Dusun bah!

My fussiness aside, what impressions would it leave you with if you see a sentence like below – knowing very well that it was written by a person who has his/her doctorate degrees in English?

“Did you went to the Syntax and Morphology conferrence at Seremban last two day?”

I might exaggerate this a bit, but trust me…I have seen worse! So please don’t get turned off and sengaja mematikan pucuk to write to me or leave comments if you:

  • don’t have a PhD in English (yet)
  • do have a PhD in English and feel like I have been back-stabbing you with an invisible red pen
  • don’t teach English and don’t know any better grammar
  • do teach English but know you’re as kerek as I am with grammar
  • don’t care what I say because you’re in denial
  • do care and would like to help me membasmi ungrammaticalism
  • don’t care because your sole purpose in life is to leave comments no matter how ungrammatical
  • deliberately enjoy getting me all worked up over grammaticality
  • would like to get your grammar corrected by me
  • have had enough of my perasan-bagus grammar

Sesudahlah Enida oi! Poei dongar gramophone rosak laei best. Bingit tingo dibuek eh.

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Call me a proofreader, a faultfinder, a backstabber, or whateverticklesyourfancy. But if you teach a language (including how to WRITE in that particular language) and you do not read what you yourself write – let alone edit it – go stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine. Boleh tak?

Code-switching is fine. We do that all the time because we do speak more than just our mothertongue. No worries. But eloy! Subject-Verb Agreement, Conditionals, and all the 13++ Tenses yang memang men’tense’-sionkan umat manusia…sendiri mau ingat lah, eloy!

Cuba bawak-bawak edit sikit hasil penulisan sedara-sedari tersebut. Mengikut buku Tatabahasa yang kita belajau sedekad setengah yang lalu, ada perbezaan antara:

Who would ever thought…


Who would ever think…


Who would have ever thought… / Who would ever have thought…

Dapatkah anda spot the difference/error? Hanya jauhari yang mengenal maknikam. So, tak nak ke bawak-bawak berkenalan dengan grammar (I mean CORRECT grammar)? Asek kasik alasan typo je. Sloppy lah!

p.s. Opocot mak engkau! Tak patah tiat, bak kata my mother! The term “mother tongue” is supposed to be two words. Bukan ‘mothertongue’. Tak ada dalam kamus hidupku!

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This synopsis of a horror movie left me in stitches:

Jessy, Jovan, Titaz, Kaila and Brian are friends and also medical students. They are joining an observation of anatomy practical in a hospital. There, they find a morgue which has been closed forever, but they enter it and without knowing by them, there is a female body is hidden inside it.

Since then, one by one from them face disturbances from the ghost. They find out her named Jasmine. A village girl whose pursue her dream to become a famous singer in Jakarta. However because of her careless, Jasmine was pregnant finally died tragically. Mysteriousness made Jasmine rise from the death after gave birth. However Jasmine and her baby finally died.

Are Jessy, Jovan and Titaz succeeding in solving this invisible creature? When they begin to find out the way to return Jasmine’s soul in piece, they must sacrifice one of them to die.

Kudos to TGV for saving quite a bit of money by NOT hiring a copywriter/translator whose English is, at least, acceptable. Now I am in awe.

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I Eye on English

I have been reading friends’ group discussions, comments and stories. Good way of sharing stuff, I don’t deny. But also a good way to see how sloppy some English teachers can be with their own writing. I have been telling my students how it bugs me when people (students) are too lazy to dot their “i’s” and cross their “t’s” when they write, or to capitalize the pronoun “I” and the first letter of the first word in a sentence when they type, or too lazy to spell out the whole word of the pronoun YOU or the article ARE (the lazy version would be “u r”.)

And then to see that my fellow English teachers and lecturers doing the very same things that my and their students do that bug me…is simply eye-popping! (But uhum! Not in an impressive way, hello!) I mean, honestly…how much longer does it take to type three letters in YOU compared to U? I am not talking about sms-spelling here. That is a totally different topic, if not language.

But not just that. I am still in shock to see obvious grammatical mistakes made by two or three TESL lecturers who are now already working on their PhD’s! How can that be? With tenses all mixed-up and SVA all so ‘he-are-who & who-are-he’…what messages are being sent across? How do I trust these teachers to teach my children to use correct punctuation marks when their teachers don’t even use them? And how do I know why they don’t use them? Is it out of ‘comfort’ – do what they say, not what they do – because they know and students don’t? Or is it out of incompetence?

I give you this real sample, unedited…for instance:

“… So imagine the kind of breed i got. I wasn’t teaching most of the time, but rather babysitting. At form 3 some couldn’t hardly read nor write, jumping out of window ran out of class, having burger with both feet up on the desk, when i look into their school bags, i found knives, cards, stones u name it excepts books. I was warned in case of fight, don’t do anythg, call the police, not the discipline teacher!….”

If you are not able to spot the errors because you do not teach English, I forgive you. If you cannot spot the errors and you are an English teacher…I frown upon you. If you are an English teacher and you think the errors are a small matter, shame on you!

I am not making a fuss about code-switching either. It is fine. In fact, it is a natural thing to do as long as you are grammatically good in and comfortable with the two languages you are switching to-and-from and back-and-forth. No problem. Plus, if you make some grammar mistakes when speaking…there is always the element of on-the-spot repair. But imagine when you say and write things like:

“…Our students are like our own brother sisters whom we care dearly. It just in my case i just can’t tolerate teenagers or school going audience. I’m more comfortable teaching adults or uni students – not necessarily easier to handle but a matter of preference. Whether we do job hopping, shifting or even remaining in the same profession or be a housewife working freelance, we have a risk to take most importantly, calculated risk….”

or something as simple as:

“Did he ever in his life finished his book?”

It is so awful that I am awfully blown out of the water! To not re-read and edit your own writing…is plain slipshod. How do you test your students and how do you mark exam papers then? I can’t help but wonder if that is exactly what and how you teach your students. I wonder so much that I am beginning to marvel at how you even got your degree in the first place.

Eye I eye!

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I went to Tanjung Golden Village website for the first time tonight to see if I could book some tickets to see Chicken Little with my Little Chickadee. But of course I couldn’t! It didn’t allow advance reservation. One can only do so for shows on the following day. Anyway, I kept on browsing when I saw this synopsis of Anak Mami Kembali in English:

The film rotates the colourful life of the Piee family that consist of his daughter, Mak Bee (Azan Irdawaty) and two adorable but mischievous grandchildren, Saiful (Saiful Apek) and Ida (Waheeda). Mak Bee is a single mother that is very dominant and has a strong personality. She is very firm and conservative in the up-bringing of her two children. She is also the kind that is very partiular about the family’s status quo.

Saiful is an oversea university graduate. He is the hip and rugged type but likes to brag about things. He is often the victim of her mother’s babbling because she is unkeen of the way Saiful portray himself. Saiful has a lover, Fasha (Fasha Sandha) the daughter of Ismail (Ismail Din) and Saleha (Sheila Mambo).

Saiful did not tell her mother about his relationship with Fasha because of Mak Bee dominance in controlling the family. Ida, his younger sister also faces the same problem when she become involve with Farid (Farid Kamil) the only child of Zulkifli (Zulkifli Zain) and Normala (Normala Omar).

Things seems to be turning worse when Mak Bee got to know of Ida’s relationship with Farid. What will happen to Ida? Are lady luck shying away from her? Are Saiful safe from her mother wrath? Will Mak Bee for go her status quo for the sake of her son and daughter? Wait for upcoming Notorious and Hilarious movies “Anak Mami Kembali”.

Well well well. Dare I comment on the writer’s grammar? I think it’s pretty obvious that the SVA (Subject-Verb Agreement) – the most basic English grammar – is not quite there, i.e. :

  1. Things seems to be turning worse….
  2. Are lady luck shying away….
  3. Are Saiful safe from her mother….

But what I do admire is the writer’s pride in his/her work. Bravo/Brava! He/She went on and posted the synopsis without having it proofread. Sloppy as it may have been, there was a tinge of pride and confidence in his/her attitude. Right on! But…uh, proofread please. I am sure Tanjung Golden Village is not short of writers who are highly capable of writing in grammatical English. Afterall, itu bukan Tanjung Emas Kampung punya wayang kan?

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