Friday, April 7, 2017

Why pick on shopping centres in Singapore?

Last week, the Straits Times published a photo of a poster found in a shopping centre in Singapore that contained grammatical errors:

The Straits Times got the Speak Good English Movement to comment on this. Its Chairman Mr Goh Eck Kheng slammed the people who put up such public signs as 'irresponsible'. But how responsible is the Speak Good English Movement when it has been shown in countless posts in this blog to be totally clueless about the rules of English grammar? I recently posted two articles in this blog in which I highlighted some of the many errors made by the Movement in their latest grammar book, ten thousand copies of which have been distributed to the hapless public in Singapore:

1. The Speak Good English Movement's New Grammar Book and
2. The Speak Good English Movement's New Grammar Book - Part 2

Before we start to focus our attention on the common man in the street in Singapore, shouldn't we first disband the disgraceful Speak Good English Movement for their countless irredeemable errors, some of which are incredibly outrageous?

Next, shouldn't we rebuke our institutions of higher learning and government agencies for their illiterate posters?

In this blog article which I wrote in September last year, I posted a photograph of a poster by the Land Transport Authority which is so embarrassingly erroneous that you would have thought it was one of those photos taken from the internet about language errors in China. It's been more than 6 months and has the poster been removed or replaced? No, the poster is still standing next to an MRT station.  Here's a pic I took just yesterday morning:

In November last year, I posted another blog article about an advertisement by the National University of Singapore Society (or the Graduate Club, as it proudly calls itself). It's been more than five months and yesterday I took this photo which shows quite clearly that the Graduate Club is unrepentant about its illiterate ad:

Before we find fault with the common man in Singapore or a shopping centre, we must first get rid of the Speak Good English Movement. For reasons which I have explained in my previous blog posts, I blame it for most of Singapore's language problems. Nothing is more unacceptable than a Speak Good English Movement that acts as the nation's arbiter of good English when it has shown itself over a period of many years to be helplessly ignorant of even the rudiments of English grammar.


  1. Queuing up in a demarcated area will automatically give way to aligning passengers. What is wrong if I consider and promote this as a single act/thought? I was taught "fish and chips is" instead of "fish and chips are" as it is considered as a single dish. Thanks.

    1. Thank you very much for this comment. I was recently rebuked by a reader who accused me of criticising the Speak Good English Movement for outrageous grammatical errors without offering an explanation of what the errors were. I thought he hadn't read my blog post and I told him to read it again.

      As far as I know, I'm always very careful in explaining why a sentence is wrong and I often cite grammarians in support of what I say. However, when an error offends the rules of grammar so badly that even an English-speaking child would not have made it, I usually take the liberty of saying nothing further about it apart from merely showing it to my readers. LTA's poster is one such example.

      However, from your comment, it is obvious that you are barking up the wrong tree when you took the error to be one concerning concord. I now see that I was justly rebuked. It was presumptuous of me to assume that ALL my readers could spot errors which I thought was obvious to any English-speaking person. But this is the internet and my readers can be from anywhere.

      I will write a full explanation (complete with examples) why this poster by the LTA is a piece of illiterate monstrosity. I apologise again for having assumed that the error was obvious to everyone.

    2. Here's the answer to your query: