Thursday, July 30, 2009
By GRANT BARRETT - The Star
NOTES FROM THE LANGUAGE UNDERGROUND
A PET peeve is something you find especially irksome, bothersome, or annoying. (Peeve is a noun created from the adjective peevish, which has been in English for centuries and whose origin is unknown.)
Pet peeves differ from regular peeves in that you return to them again and again in order to get upset or worked up about them. Some people take pleasure in whining (American for whinging) and moaning about something that annoys them.
Peeves are usually expressed in rants – long, repetitive statements coloured with negativity and accusation. Given the frequency with which people like to rant, it is, apparently, quite enjoyable.
Of course, a lot of people have pet peeves about language. Most of them are what I call borrowed peeves.
These are things that someone has heard someone else gripe about. They remember the energy, passion, and conviction with which the peeve was expressed and they are motivated by it – moved, even – to adopt those views themselves.
Teachers are often the spreaders of peeves. They have a captive audience, after all, and they can carp (complain) at length to an audience that might be receptive to ideas about which they have not yet had a great deal of education. The student sometimes follows the teacher and adopts the peeve for themselves.
Thing is, a lot of these peeves are wrong. Or at least, they don’t merit the kind of angry energy that is being directed at them.
Here’s one: a lot of people think that “till” is wrong in this sentence: “I’m leaving the house, so don’t go outside till I return.” They claim that the word should be “’til,” which is a contraction of “until”.
They’re wrong, though. In fact, both “till” and the “til” in “until” come from the same root. “Till” is actually the older form and has never fallen out of use. Both are acceptable.
Another one is “done”. Some people believe that you can’t say: “I’m done with school for the summer. I go back in autumn.” They claim that people can’t be done. They say only things can be done.
Of course, they’re wrong (or else I wouldn’t be mentioning it here). Of course people can be done with something! You can say finished, if you want, but there’s nothing wrong with done.
This kind of peeve is the result of over-analysis, in which people examine their own English to the finest level so that they can try to construct a rule from the barest understanding of how they themselves use a word. But of course, English is a messy language, held only loosely together by habits of disparate groups. Expecting consistency in English is like expecting dogs to sing and dance.
There are still, too, a number of people who believe that new words should not be created in English from the roots of different languages, such as Latin and Greek.
My response is, why in the world not? Some Latin is based on Greek, anyway, and English is the biggest mutt (a mixed-breed dog) I know. English can handle it!
And so can English speakers.
This kind of peeve is based on absurd notions of language perfection and purity. To call one language more pure or more perfect is merely an opinion.
It is no more true than picking a particular star out of the sky and saying: “Oh, that’s the one! That’s the perfect star.” There’s no objective (scientifically fair) way to measure languages against each other.
Those who claim otherwise have minds clouded with patriotism, ethnic pride, and sometimes even bigotry (an intolerance toward people who are different).
But we love our languages the same way we love our children: they’re ours and they are part of us.
A classic pet peeve is to complain about the word “troop” being used to mean a single soldier. Peevers feel that this term should only be used to refer to a group of soldiers.
Problem with that is, that’s not how the American military does it. This usage is so widespread as to be ordinary there.
Which leads me to one of the bigger categories of peeving. That’s peeving about jargon.
Jargon is the language of professions. Each profession or trade has its own language that its practitioners used among themselves in order to speed communication.
But when that jargon leaks to the outside world, it can have the effect of repulsing people. That’s because they’re outsiders. If they were insiders, they would probably also use jargon without thinking about it.
Some language is not intended for everybody. If you find yourself feeling like language doesn’t sound right, then maybe you should either bone up on it (educate yourself about it) so that it sounds normal to your ears, or else butt out (mind your own business)!
> Grant Barrett is editorial director of Wordnik, www.wordnik.com, a new online dictionary that aims to collect every word in English.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Due to H1N1 outbreak, the college will be closed starting from today, 28 Julai 2009 untill 4 Ogos 2009.
Taken from - KPM website
FYI (esp. to my friends & family) my beloved college is NOT Kolej Professional MARA Indera Mahkota
it is called KOLEJ POLY-TECH MARA KUANTAN
Monday, July 27, 2009
A or an
I attempted this question but answered wrongly. ________ university.
I chose an university, but the answer given is “a university”.
– Kah Kin
We use “an” before a singular noun beginning with a vowel sound, NOT a vowel. “University” begins with the vowel “u”, but is pronounced /yunivesiti/ and “y” is not a vowel. That is why “a university” is the right answer.
In contrast, “hour” is pronounced /our/ and we have to put “an” not “a” before “hour”, because it begins with a vowel sound: the “h” is not pronounced. That is why we say “an hour” and not “a hour”.
By FADZILAH AMIN - THE STAR
Sunday, July 26, 2009
One of the best ways to improve your vocabulary is to read more. Reading is clearly linked with a larger vocabulary, especially if you seek out books in unfamiliar genres or about unfamiliar topics. Nonfiction in a wide variety of fields can improve your vocabulary and general knowledge. Literacy in fiction is also highly beneficial. As you read, make a note of unfamiliar words, look them up, and write down the definition.
Another way to improve your vocabulary is to play word games. Games like Scrabble and Boggle will encourage your brain to play with words and letters, as well as learning new ones. If you play Scrabble with an open dictionary, you can encourage people to try out words they might otherwise be afraid of using. Most word games are interactive, so you enjoy company while you improve your vocabulary.
Another way of improving your vocabulary is to do word puzzles. Most newspapers include crosswords, simple cryptology puzzles, and jumbles which get progressively harder throughout the week. Improve your vocabulary by trying to commit to completing all of the word puzzles every day. Word puzzles can also be done in groups, especially if you enjoy competition. You can also purchase books of word puzzles of varying difficulty.
A simple way to improve your vocabulary is to use the dictionary. Create flash cards of unfamiliar words and practice them in the train, on the bus, or when you wake up in the morning. Try to practice words in a variety of environments so that you really learn them, and make sure to use the words in daily sentences as well so that you can grow accustomed to using them correctly. If you hear someone using a word you don’t recognize, look it up!
Many websites are dedicated to improving your vocabulary, and you can subscribe to word of the day features, word games, and other fun activities which will improve your vocabulary. In addition, you may find a community of individuals with interests like yours. If you are trying to improve your English vocabulary as a native speaker, you may be able to meet up with study buddies. If you are learning vocabulary in a new language, you can find people to speak and write with you so that you can improve your skills.
KUALA LUMPUR: Renowned film and advertising director Yasmin Ahmad died here at about 11.25pm on Saturday night.
Her death was confirmed by Media Prime Group Chief Operations Officer Datuk Seri Ahmad Farid Ridzuan, who was at the Damansara Specialists Hospital, when contacted by Bernama.
Yasmin, 51, collapsed while presenting a working paper at Sri Pentas, the headquarters of the private television station TV3 on Thursday and was rushed to the Damansara Specialists Hospital.
She was reported to have suffered a stroke and brain haemorrhage.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
* Children younger than 5 years old
* Persons aged 65 years and older
* Children and adolescents (< 18 years) on long term aspirin therapy
* Pregnant women
* Adults and children with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, organ failure, cardiovascular disease , hepatic, heamatological, neurologic, neuromuscular or metabolic disorders such as Diabetes Mellitus
* Adults and children who have immunosuppression
* Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
Influenza A ( H1N1 ) Alert!
Is an acute respiratory infection caused by Influenza A virus (H1N1 subtype). It is spreading very fast to several countries including Malaysia as a result of the appearance of new form of Influenza A virus ( novel ) which is due to genetic mutation processes. Therefore, everyone is at risk once exposed to this virus due to absence of immunity in human body. It also considered as contagious diseases which can be transmitted from human to human.
According to World Health Organisation ( WHO ), these Influenza A ( H1N1 ) outbreak did occurred in 1918 which causing death to more than 50 millions peoples worldwide. Till 30th June 2009, there are 71076 reported cases in 116 countries which result in 311 deaths.
ROUTE OF INFECTION
This communicable diseases can be spread through :
Direct contact with infected person ( via cough droplet or sneeze )
Surfaces contaminated with Influenza A viruses ( H1N1 )
SYMPTOMS OF INFLUENZA A ( H1N1 )
High fever ( > 38 * C )
Difficulty in breathing
Bodyache / myalgia
If YOU have the above symptoms
a. Have direct contact with Influenza A ( H1N1 ) confirmed cases such as boarding with the same car / aircraft or staying in the same house
b. recent ( within a week ) travel / visit to the areas which posses Influenza A ( H1N1 ) cases.
YOU are advised to seek immediate treatment at any government hospital
Please kindly take note of these measures :
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Do practice cough ettiquette accordingly
Wash your hands with soap and adequate water after cough / sneeze or touching any polluted / contaminated surface
You must use an appropriate protective mask if you are infected with Influenza A ( H1N1 )
AVOID direct contact with Influenza A ( H1N1 ) cases or any crowded area
Please seek immediate treatment if you having Influenza A ( H1N1 ) symptoms
Travel to the affected area / country should be AVOIDED
Practice good personal hygiene at all time and have a balanced diet
SHAH ALAM: Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) has announced an earlier mid-semester break for its July-November semester because of influenza (A) H1N1.
The break will now be from July 27 to Aug 2.
It was originally slated for Sept 17 to Sept 27.
All UiTM campuses must observe the new schedule, except for the Lendu campus in Malacca, said UiTM in a statement yesterday.
It said the new mid-semester break was for students only. Staff who wanted to be away during the period would have to apply for leave.
UiTM said students suspected of being infected with the virus could only rejoin classes after producing letters from doctors certifying that they were healthy.
Friday, July 24, 2009
By RIZAL JOHAN - The Star
PETALING JAYA: Award-winning director Yasmin Ahmad, famed for her advertisements and films capturing the essence of racial harmony in Malaysia, collapsed while attending a meeting at Sri Pentas here.
The 51-year-old creative director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur was rushed to the Damansara Specialist Centre yesterday, and underwent brain surgery following a stroke due to bleeding in the brain.
Paediatric surgeon Datuk Dr Zakaria Zahari, Yasmin’s brother-in-law, said she was in a stable but critical condition.
Yasmin had earlier met with TV3 officials, as well as pop diva Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, at Media Prima’s Sri Pentas premises to pitch a potential commercial.
Siti told The Star that during the meeting, Yasmin complained of feeling unwell, cupped her face and rested her head on the table.
Sensing something amiss when Yasmin remained motionless for a few minutes, those present rushed to her side.
“We laid her on the floor. She was having difficulty breathing. A panel doctor from Sri Pentas came to assist.
“While she gave Yasmin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, I helped with the chest compressions until the ambulance arrived,” said Siti, a former ambassador for the Malaysian Red Crescent Society.
A host of media representatives and personalities had congregated at the hospital where Yasmin was admitted.
Yasmin had previously suffered a stroke about five years ago.
Her parents are on the way from Langkawi to be with her.
Let's pray for her....
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
1. I told him that I had finished my work.
2. They had left by the time I arrived there.
Could you please enlighten me on using “had had” in past perfect tense in English?
You are right. The past perfect tense is used to distinguish between two actions in the past, or between an action and a situation or time in the past. Your question about “had had” has been asked a few times before, perhaps because of the repetition of the verb “had”.
When the past perfect tense “had had” is used in a sentence, the first “had” is the auxiliary verb that we use in every past perfect tense structure. The second “had” is the past participle of the main verb. So whenever the verb “to have” is used as the main verb in a past perfect tense structure, we use “had had”. Although we seem to be repeating the same verb “had”, each “had” has a different function. Here are some examples of the use of “had had” :
“She had had her lunch when her mother phoned.”
“After the earthquake, the government gave everyone who had had a house some money to help them rebuild it.”
By FADZILAH AMIN - THE STAR
Monday, July 20, 2009
To honour this event, special lectures or sermons are held at mosques on this day, as well as readings from the Qur'an, especially from Surat al-Isra' - the chapter on the Night Journey.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Came across this while blog hopping a little while ago..
"Whatever you give to woman, she will make it greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit."
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Dangers of Plastic
Did you ever drink from a plastic bottle and see a triangle symbol on the bottom with a number inside?
Do you know what the number stands for? Did you guess that it's just for recycling?
Then you are wrong!!!
THE NUMBER TELLS YOU THE CHEMICAL MAKE UP OF THE PLASTIC....
1) Polyethylene Terephalate (PET)
2) High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
3) Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC) or Plasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (PPVC)
4) Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
5) Polypropylene (PP)
6) Polystyrene (PS) or Expandable Polystyrene (EPS)
7) Other, including nylon and acrylic
What you are not told is that many of the plastics used are toxic and the chemicals used to create a plastic can leach out of the plastic and into the food/drink. Think about it, how many times have you or a friend said "I don't like this, it taste like the plastic bottle".
THAT'S BECAUSE YOU ARE TASTING THE PLASTIC!
The WORST ONES are Nos 3, 6, and 7!!! DO NOT USE THESE NUMBERS (if stated at the bottom of the bottle).
Check out this chart that breaks down the plastic, its uses and chemical makeup (no 7 is a little scary)! Click for bigger picture.
Friday, July 17, 2009
I bet... even them already forgetten that we were once parading around Kuantan looking like this
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
From my getclicky tracker I can see many of the readers got here (this blog) by searching 'MUET 2009'
Therefore, here is a little information regarding MUET 2009
Close of Registration for end of year MUET 2009 will be on the 23rd 0f July 2009
(However, this registration due date is only valid for candidates who wish to improve on their 2009 Mid Year MUET result.)
View from my hotel room... Temerloh at 7:06am
Temerloh - The birthplace of Sudirman Haji Arshad JMN AMN (25 May 1954 – 22 February 1992). He was known as the 'Singing Lawyer', the 'People's Singer' and the 'Elvis of Malaysia', also the birthplace of Ishak Haji Muhammad (14 November 1909 - 7 November 1991) or better known as Pak Sako, who was a prominent Malaysian writer,
Monday, July 13, 2009
By S.H. LOKE - The Star
Words like chair, table and bench can take on a new meaning when they are used in a different context. Some of the following expressions inject colour into the English language. Complete the sentences with the right answer.
1. The River Nile is considered the ______ of Egyptian civilisation.
2. My neighbours were distressed by the _____death of their baby.
3. We enjoy being _______travellers whenever we watch travel programmes.
4. The______for this case consists of reputable judges.
5. Harry is quite happy to______the meeting at short notice.
6. We rejected the agreement which was______in ambiguous terms.
7. The girl at the information______is friendly and helpful.
8. Nowadays many children are overweight because they are_______potatoes, and rarely exercise.
9. Ryan Lee is popular with the state voters, because he has no skeleton in his _______.
10. _____and breakfast hotels are popular with budget travellers.
11. Her______consists of many smart and well-styled pants.
12. Many drugs can be bought over the __________.
13. Julie is very rich, so life is a_______of roses for her
14. The state government has______its plan to build another flyover.
15. The roast chicken looks appetising when it is served on a______of mixed vegetables.
16.The continental ______around Malaysia is rich in marine life.
17. Our school hockey team turned the _______on our rivals when they decided to play with better strategies.
1. cradle 2. cot 3. armchair 4. bench 5. chair 6. couched 7. desk 8. couch 9. closet 10. Bed 11. wardrobe 12. counter 13. bed 14. shelved 15. bed 16. shelf 17. tables
1 hour and 30mins drive to Temerloh
for an open registration at MARA District Office in Temerloh
Miss Amylia n Miss Mimi chilling out after a long day at work..
thanx God for the free internet access that kept us occupied through out the night...
a mind boggling question... how come that kind of hotel (in the pic above) can provide free internet access, but not most of 5-star hotels ???? hmmmm? I wonder....
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
By LYNNE MCGREADY
ALLOW me to begin this article by defining the word “mistake.”
Mistake - “An error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness.”
Language “mistakes” in Malaysia, and their causes, have distressed me during my eight years in this wonderful country.
Let’s evaluate the “causes” of these language mistakes, shall we?
Are these errors due to “defective judgment”.I think not! Are we, in this country, “deficient” in our knowledge? I can hear a resounding “NO!” from Malaysians all around the world. Well, then this leaves “carelessness” as the cause. Ah, now there is a “kind of hush, all over the world, tonight” ... But I digress.
I have made a list of words and expressions common to Malaysians. Sometimes, I’m not sure whether I should work myself to death to try and change these mistakes or simply start using them myself. I believe their use has become habitual.
I know that many a Malaysian language “guru” has taken up the gauntlet against these expressions and errors. I am simply encouraging them to persevere until a change is finally made.
Follow you home. My first encounter with this expression was in a small town in Perak. My host wanted to tell me that she was going to drive me back to my hotel. Instead, she said: “Lynne, don’t worry I will follow you back to the hotel.” Had our plans changed? Was I going with someone else? Would she be following us in her car? I asked: “Our plans seem to have changed. Who will I be going with?” I was reassured that our plans remained unchanged and I did not pursue the use of expression, (after all she was being kind enough to drive me around her hometown.)
However, eight years since this incident, I am still being “followed home” or “followed to the airport” or “followed to work” in the same car!
Send you back. A very similar experience, but this confused me even more the first time I heard it. This time I thought “not only are my staff going to ‘send’ me with someone else, but we are also going ‘back’ – but back to where? Was I going back to Australia, my apartment, back in time?” I had no idea, until someone explained that “back” meant, “Home of course!” (The face was reading, “Idiot Mat Salleh!”). Got it! So the word “back” in Malaysia means home, right?
Borrow me some money. Admittedly, a few people have “borrowed me” a few ringgit to buy a drink or lunch in the food court. However, wouldn’t they have preferred to just “loan” me the money? Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, can we please either: Lend people money e.g. “Ki, can you lend me RM5 please? I will pay you back tomorrow.” “No way, Lynne! You still owe me RM1 from last month.” Borrow money from people e.g. “Ki, may I borrow RM5 please? I will pay you back tomorrow.” “Sure. I can lend you RM10. I am feeling rich at the moment.”
Bring and take. (Let’s not forget “took”). I once had a conversation that went a little like this: “Lynne, if we go to the meeting this Friday, let’s bring our laptop.”
The sentence structure is wrong. When you are looking at or viewing the movement of something from the point of its arrival, use “bring.” e.g. When you visit my home this weekend, please don’t bring me chocolates. When we are looking at or viewing the movement of something from the point of departure, use “take.”e.g. Whenever I go to the Dewan Philharmonic, I must take my shawl. It can get very cold inside the hall.
Open and close the lights. I do understand the issue of language interference. For example, in Malay we say “buka lampu” and “tutup lampu” so a direct translation would be “open and close the light.” However, if we know that it’s not the same in English, shouldn’t we try and make the change? I think we should.
Last time, Kuala Lumpur was such fun. “It still is!” I respond, but what is this “last time” you’re referring to? The 1950s, 60s or the 70s? Let’s be more specific with the last times we are referring to.
“We want to spend you lunch.” Thank you! I would love to have lunch with you and you can spend your money to buy the lunch this time, but please don’t spend me. We spend money, not people. Besides, why would you pay for lunch with something as priceless as me?
“Do you take beef, Lynne?” “I’m sorry? Take it where? The zoo, perhaps?” Well, yes I do like to eat the occasional steak when I can, but I’ll eat it right here at the table, thanks.
“See first.” My first encounter with this expression caused my head to spin and I mean literally. I was in a meeting with my team and I asked one of them if they would like to lead a particular project. Her response was “See first”. I turned around to look and there was nothing or no one there! Well, perhaps, you wanted to think about it, dear friend, but please don’t wait too long, okay? Meanwhile, I’m changing my glasses so I can see first better.
In conclusion, I know that there are many books about the common mistakes made by Malaysians in speaking English. I have also often asked myself if I am being too pedantic about the incorrect use of “follow” being a standard in Malaysian conversation.
However, my fear is that many teachers not only continue to ignore these errors, but also inject them into their students, meaning there will always have to be folks like me writing long articles to tell them “not to say that.”
We all know every country has its own local expressions and slang for English conversation. Coming from Australia, I know this all too well.
However, I feel it’s also essential to know the difference between local and common English usage, or we risk not being understood or taken seriously by our foreign counterparts. In short, shouldn’t we keep our P’s and Q’s for international conferences, and save our wah’s and lah’s for the coffee shops? See first, and let me know ah.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
For the past few weeks I've been neglecting this blog.. there were only few entries for the last 2 weeks...
Well.. to say "I am busy" that is too cliche... maybe I got kind of lazy? Haha.. well.. blogging is something I never failed to find time to do.. it is just that, I've been busy with my other blogs, trying hard to have minimum of 50 unique clicks per day.. so... that is why this blog took second place...
so, sorry to you guys n gals out there... :)
it's just a random photo... nothing to do with this entry... huhu
Monday, July 06, 2009
Actually... Just a little recommendation...
ABASK (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Jalan Mahmod Kota Bharu
a place to shop for your batik.. (no, i don't know the owner of this shop)
Last weekend I went home to Kota Bharu and I had a chance to shop at this very customer friendly store..
the staff there were very helpful n cheerful... Even though it was my first time there..
Saturday, July 04, 2009
yummmehhh birthday cake - courtesy of my SIL
Happy Birthday to My Mom - Love you !! Muashhh...
owhh... Happy Birthday to Kanakambal Velusamy - she too celebrates her birthday today..