Don’t bother with Speak Good English campaigns!

Many things are a waste of time — and of course money — in Singapore nowadays.

Today, I’m reminded again of the uphill — no, impossible — task of upholding the standard of good spoken and written English.

Why does our dear Government persist in running the Speak Good English campaign (OK, it’s called “movement” now, as if dressing it up with a new name would help) when everyone and his donkey only pay lip service to it.

Perhaps not even that considering how badly some of our news readers, interviewers, news makers etc strut their stuff in English on radio or TV. 

Still, I’m not really fussed over this considering that even the Beeb nowadays has news presenters who speak such heavily accented — and even non-grammatical — English that I’ve a hard time making them out.

The point is, if the Beeb already can’t be bothered with speaking comprehensible English, who are we, Singaporeans, to insist on carrying the torch?

This could explain why the Straits Times, Singapore’s flag ship and longest surviving newspaper, could run online a news story with a headline that would have damned the writer to be labeled “illiterate” in years gone by.

But hey, dis is e 21st century n so long as e meaning is dere, who cares abt e spelin?

From newspaper which ran advice on English As It Is Broken!

6 thoughts on “Don’t bother with Speak Good English campaigns!

  1. Well there is a huge variety of accents/slang in the UK, so I suppose it’s a little bit difficult to ensure all presenters on TV/radio speak in a manner that is 100% comprehensible to non-natives 🙂

    I hadn’t realise, though, that it’s become that bad in Sg!!!! D:

  2. There is one sure way to stop all these errors. For every error detected and reported, the editor and the journalist gets a pay deduction of say x %. Unless there is some pain, why would one need to improve ? Much like instituting fines as a way to manage social behaviours. 🙂

  3. Uncle Keng, I have a better suggestion. Garmen shld amend ISA to cover those with the clout and the wide platform to influence the public. If they do anything to undermine govt campaigns eg Speak Gd English Movement then their management cld be detained. The MSM wld be more likely to be careful if the ISA covers them. But I’m joking only lah. Spik English any ole how also can. Not as if we r writing a PHD with our England, rite?

  4. Zchar, I can forgive UK regional accents, from Brummie to Cockney or the even worse Gordie. But the Beeb nowadays has joint cross-continent presenters — at least on radio. I find one from the sub-continent most unintelligible!

    As for Beeb grammar, I was horrified this morning to hear an interviewer talking about bank bonus who said something that showed a complete lack of basic English grammar: Why is bankers paid so much…

    If even the great Beeb has lost its way with English, why are we Singaporeans continuing to tread the path that’s being abandoned by the native speakers? For all we know, English may not be the lingua franca of the world for very much longer! French has already gone tt way. Why not English?

  5. I think typo is acceptable in a blog like this. However, if one is paid as a job to report, I suspect the expectation is much higher and there is less tolerance of an error. As a society, question is how tolerant are we of mistakes and if so, at what point do we start questioning the professionalism of a career ? Is one Jack Neo a good representation of all directors in Singapore ? In the rush to break news, I suspect the worker could be too tired or even the editor did not review the wordings. It got corrected at the end, when there was more time spent to review. ISA ? That would be using a nuclear bomb to kill an ant 🙂

  6. Haha, Uncle Keng, dat’s y I said I was only joking! For a more intolerant and paranoid Govt, a case cld be made out that they aren’t merely glitches or mistakes but a deliberate pattern of undermining a specific Govt policy. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s