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Jun-6-10

Correct English Please

posted by constance

English. Can be confusing, especially to Singaporeans and Malaysians. We were brought up learning English Language. Not American English. But much of the American English is being exposed to us because of the television which, incidently has more American movies and American sitcoms on it. So, sometimes we pick up a different, though not entirely wrong, pronounciation. In my school, my teachers belong to the generation where they learnt English and impart everything they could to us, their students. But when one is exposed to so much American, one does not realised how different such a simple language can be.

I went to the hardware shop wanting to buy a paint based marker. I asked for a permanent marker that can be written on melamine (meh-la-mean). The sales assistant arrogantly told me that he does not know what I meant. He then corrected me, he knows what is melamine (meh-la-myme) and acts like I do not know how to speak English. Hmm… it was frustrating for me because each time I said ‘meh la mean’ he said ‘meh la myne’. Almost bursting with anger, I just bought what I needed, left the shop and not long later, I called up my journalist friend who specialized in English, asking and he told me ‘meh la mean’ is the spoken word although the spelling is melamine. So I was right after all, and some people can be just too sure of what they think they know. Maybe he spoke it the American way? How about other words like phentramine, calamine or relumine? Whatever it is, make sure you KNOW the correct way to speak it before you decide to correct another. Tsk Tsk

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