I've been wanting to write about this for a long time now.

In my two years of living and working in Australia, I have come across conversations (both verbal and written ones) that perplexed me. Grammatically, they violate all the basic rules I was taught to observe since young. I dare not claim to be an expert in the English language but obvious errors are, well, obvious. Unless my A1s scored in the Cambridge english exams are all crap obtained through bribes.

Here's a generic sentence for illustration purposes.

"ABC Pty Ltd are willing to bare compensation for this case, so you shouldn't of taken further action on this matter."

1. ABC Pty Ltd is one entity so shouldn't it be singular? How can it be followed by 'are' and not 'is'?

2. 'Bare' vs 'bear'. This is a spelling error frequently made by the locals here. The two words have completely different meanings. The usage of 'bare' here is entirely wrong.


bare – adjective
i. without covering or clothing; naked; nude: bare legs.
ii. without the usual furnishings, contents, etc.: bare walls.
iii. open to view; unconcealed; undisguised: his bare dislike of neckties.
(there are more examples of usage but you should get the meaning now.)

bear – verb (used with object)
i. to hold up; support: to bear the weight of the roof.
ii. to hold or remain firm under (a load): The roof will not bear the strain of his weight.
iii. to suffer; endure; undergo: to bear the blame.
(there are more examples of usage but you get the meaning.)

3. Okay I'm not so sure if this is a grammatical mistake or just a local slang thing. I will say or write "you shouldn't have" and not "you shouldn't of". Yeah but it could be a slang. *shrugs*

There are more examples but I shall not go into each one. It will take me eons to cover all.

I get angry when the ang mohs stare at me in disbelief upon hearing that English is the main language used in the education system in Singapore. They also get damn amused when I inform them they would have no difficulty navigating the streets in Singapore because all the signages are in English. There are still ignorant people in the so-called developed countries who think Singapore is an ulu, smaller-than-small village somewhere in China. Not only do they fail basic grammar, they don't know their geography for nuts. Even though I may not speak as fee-lee-fair-lair (a term my grandma uses, sounds very funny hor) as the ang mohs, due to years of Singlish influence in my pronounciation and accent, I definitely know my verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, tenses, plurals and singulars. I bet some of the ang mohs will think they are donuts or chips or something.


beakee said...

sigh... i feel your indignation. anyway you are right on the 3 counts ("shouldn't of", "wouldn't of" also common homonym-type mistakes found in american, i've even seen "can't of"), except i have also noticed in the chao corporate world, people tend to treat a company, business and staff as a plural entity, dunno why... it sounds weird to me too but i think it just reeks of team-building and all that crap.

fav tudi said...

fake-ohs. They are all so fake. FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE.

Alex said...

From what i know, Ang Mos are good at talking nia. When come to writing proper english, they don't do that well.