Affairs, Culture

The New York Times: The Reality Behind Singlish

In response to an opinion by Gwee Li Sui: Do You Speak Singlish?

Li Lin Chang in a letter to The New York Times:

Gwee Li Sui’s “Politics and the Singlish Language” (Opinion, May 13) makes light of the government’s efforts to promote the mastery of standard English by Singaporeans…

… But English is not the mother tongue of most Singaporeans. For them, mastering the language requires extra effort. Using Singlish will make it harder for Singaporeans to learn and use standard English. Not everyone has a Ph.D. in English Literature like Mr. Gwee, who can code-switch effortlessly between Singlish and standard English, and extol the virtues of Singlish in an op-ed written in polished standard English.

Everything about Li Lin Chang’s response to Gwee Li Sui’s opinion regarding celebrating Singlish as an unofficial creole, irks me through my skin. She sounds elitist, as if the only people who should be entitled to use Singlish are those who have a level of proficiency of the English language and can code switch. The initial sentence is just condescending to the entire opinion that Gwee has outlined, and has also given more examples about how Singlish is used at an everyday speak.

Never mind that almost anybody who needs to add an air of authenticity to the persuasions, would also use Singlish to connect to the masses. I’ve noticed it in formal education (Any teacher who isn’t an English language teacher, tends to revert to Singlish to communicate complex lessons, and yes, politicians have definitely started to impart their slogans in Singlish or in a dialect.

It’s good to be versed in English since its a global language of business and there have been many merits for being able to communicate with the International market, but Singlish is something that we use conversationally, and not for international business or relations. If anything, it’s a cultural phenomena that we use to be ourselves, to escape from the druddgeries of daily toil. It’s us in our home clothes.

If Singaporeans have a poor proficiency in the English language, it’s not because we use Singlish, but more because we simply don’t practice standard English enough.


Tony Molina – Don't Come Back from Renny McCauley on Vimeo.

I can hang a second time
When I’m with you I lose my mind
You build me up to tear me down
And I hope that you don’t come back now

Side Note: Got this off a good mate of mine; and damn it’s so infectious. I’ve been listening to the entire record on repeat for the past day.

Music of the Day: Tony Molina – Don’t Come Back


The Guardian: Persuading Britain to spend billions on Trident is like convincing a tramp to buy a bazooka

Background on the Trident debate.

Frankie Boyle with a commentary in The Guardian:

As for the supposed threat of North Korea, with their current missile delivery technology it would take years for them to save up for the necessary stamps. Yes, they launched a satellite recently, but remember that it’s much easier to hit a target that is basically The Universe. I’m going to stick my neck out and say that people doing eight hours of gymnastics a day while living on acorns aren’t going to build a viable, targeted intercontinental missile. And if they do, it’s going to be an absolute coupon buster if they decide to send it 3,000 miles to Britain rather than – just to pick a country at random – South Korea.

Boyle doesn’t think much about North Korean threat to Britain and puts it ever so eloquently.

The truly democratic method would be to have a giant button somewhere that can only be pressed by the weight of 51% of the population.

Blistering jab at the powers that be who decide on nuclear deterrence versus nuclear action.

In the final moments of life on Earth, someone will think of arranging their hands to make a shadow puppet, creating a dragon or a dove to be immortalised by the bomb. They’ll know that nobody will ever see it, but they’ll do it anyway. And this, I think, is what it is to be any kind of artist these days, with no posterity to address but still compelled, for reasons you don’t understand, to work in the terrible now.

Ah, a final scene to cap off his own stance on nuclear deterrence by global powers and superpowers while still being able to poke fun at any community of people.

More comedians should write political commentary.


Bloomberg: Twitter to Stop Counting Photos and Links in 140-Characters

Sarah Frier reporting for Bloomberg:

The social media company will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, according to a person familiar with the matter. The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment.

I’ll very excited if this turns out to be true. I still love Twitter for it’s brevity, and it does stand out from a lot of its competition as a great, implementable second screen experience for sharing comments and opinons.