Friday, November 25, 2016

National Errors

In many of my earlier blog posts, I have said scathing things about the Speak Good English Movement. And there is perfect justification for what some may wrongly see as my overreaction. In many of these blog posts, I merely expressed surprise and sometimes horrified shock that the Speak Good English Movement could be so incredibly wrong in almost everything they wrote. Click on the above link if you want to experience the same shock at what the Speak Good English Movement is capable of. Don't forget - these are the people who say categorically that 'Alan and George works as a team' is grammatically acceptable.

Sometimes it is possible to tell by someone's error where he's from. Some errors can be categorised according to national boundaries. What makes the Speak Good English Movement so peculiarly bad is not only do they make language errors that are commonly found in Singapore but they also make countless errors that no Singaporean ever makes. When it comes to English grammar and usage, the Speak Good English Movement is just irredeemably and hopelessly abysmal and as I have repeatedly said, the only decent thing to do is to disband the Movement. Singapore does not need an English Movement which is totally clueless about English grammar.

Most organisations aren't that bad. Yesterday, I received an advert in my letter box from a private school called Eye Level. It's a glossy colourful flyer.

The school teaches Maths and English. As you can see from the above photo, there are only two complete sentences in the advert:

There are only two sentences in the ad but there are more than two grammatical errors. But these are errors no Singaporean makes. I could tell from just reading the two sentences that they were not composed by a Singaporean or a Malaysian. I thought it was likely the sentences were written by someone from Japan but after I googled the school, I discovered that I was wrong. The errors are probably native to Korea. Still, that was not a bad conjecture since there are some linguistic similarities between Korean and Japanese.

But how effective is such an ad in Singapore? Would parents who read the flyer feel comfortable with enrolling their kids in the school to be taught English? Of course the teaching staff probably had nothing to do with this ad but all the same, this is not a good marketing strategy for a school that teaches English.

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