Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mr Goh Chok Tong's Facebook post

Don't ask me anything about the family dispute. I was abroad when it happened and I just heard about it when I got home. A person's family dispute is a private matter and even if members of the family choose to air their quarrel online, I take no interest in it. But I'm more interested in how people express their thoughts in words. This afternoon, I saw this Facebook post by Goh Chok Tong, the former Prime Minister of Singapore:

I will quickly deal with the first error which is an obvious one and is probably due to hasty typing: the 'lay' in 'I know Singaporeans will not lay meek' should read 'lie'.

The last sentence is slightly more confusing. It may lead the reader to think that the first main clause contains a phrasal prepositional verb, in which case the infinity marker (instead of a preposition) is misplaced. What Mr Goh means to say is:
We will always look forward, fight real battles and create a better future...

NOTE: If you would like to see a list of my blog posts on language including the outrageous errors made by Singapore's notorious Speak Good English Movement, please click here.

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