Words From Expressions

Posted: March 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

Captain’s log                    Stardate: 63680.9 (Mar 5th, 2010)

Feels like blogging, so here’s another few more of the local version of some of the things said, and what we learn from the new expressions as life goes on. This are some that I’ve collected and that I find it equally fascinating! =)

The Coffee Shop Is Open
Do you ever notice that little children are such fun to listen to? Recently, I had decided to fetch my younger brother from school. So I wanted for him on a bench, that faces the side of the school gate where my mum told me that this is where my brother will came out. Nearby, a group of kids were playing near to the exercise yard. There, I came to notice a little girl carelessly exposed her underwear when seated on one of the sit-up benches, legs apart. Her playmates jeered, started chanting: “Shame, shame! Coffee shop open!”

Don’t Eat Durian
This advise came from a colleague when he found out that I had a bad sore throat: “Don’t eat durian too much,” she said. Funny though, cause I seldom eat durian!

That’s another, but sounded rather sensational. Like as though asking for a cuddle before breathing down the neck: “Your voice sounded so sexy. Have you been eating durians?”

In Block Capitals
This advertisement which I had came across in the Straits Times, was inserted on behalf of a training school in England, inviting those interested to apply a home-study Diploma in Management, as well as Tourism. It welcome applicants to “write now, giving your name and address in BLOCK CAPITALS.”

Of course, this is not uncommon, cause we’ve came across this when filling out on certain applications forms. But I do wonder though, are there small capitals? And I don’t mean Washington D.C!

The Centre
Once I wrote this down in the header of my Facebook account. Why do so many people say the central core? Could the core be anywhere else but the centre, or be anything but central? And I’m not referring to that of the Earth’s core.

I relate this to a colleague of mine. In his point of view, its like breaking a bar of chocolate into halves and compare which is the bigger half. He also stated, however, different when a man refers to his wife as a better half.

Go Fly Kite
Although kite flying is a popular activity in Singapore, the expression go fly kite (I wonder if it was related to the American version of “take a hike!”) is not Singaporean as some people I know seem to think. I was also told that, it brings a more sinister meaning. Short of being a swear words, this is something offensive and that it also seem to tell those that were affected to end their life!

Even as I speak, I also wonder if it was related to, “Get a life!”

Then You Know!
“Don’t climb so high! You fall down and break your leg, then you know!”

Warn of the possible ominous outcome? Certainly. To predict? Nahhh! It highlights to realize that it may came too late, to avoid it in any way possible. Or simple stated: Better be safe than sorry.

You hear it almost everywhere. It was used quite often, without a doubt. I remember a scholar once said when giving a talk on “English and its Best,” that the word “lah” is one of those meaningless expressions, but most commonly used word that helps us to complete a sentence nicely.

True? But because it sounds so unEnglish (obviously couldn’t be located inside the dictionary lah!), it was considered bad English, let alone under the category of Singlish. Now, I’m NOT here to promote good English or teaches one. I’m here to ENTERTAIN. Even I myself ended up using the word, even though I always aim for good English. Am aware that society has groom more tolerant, and lah is used deliberately in dialogue to reflect the taste, let alone the flavour of the local culture.

As come to my understanding, foreigners who have stayed long enough in Singapore often try to impress others by dropping a lah or two when they speak. I supposed, when you followed a part of that assimilation, it tends to go along with you as a package. You know, die hard habits do come a long way when they get used to it. Also, I wonder if it that makes them in any way more, native.

Frankly, I don’t know lah!

There more to come, however =D

  1. Ryan says:

    Years later, the word “lah” will ended up in the dictionary, and thus no longer a Singlish word. lol…

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