Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Words and Rules" Found

Yesterday, being in downtown after an interpretation work in Kallang, I found “Words and Rules” by Steven Pinker at Kinokuniya. I had been looking for this book for a few months unsuccessfully. At the bookstore, I only looked at the psychology shelves because other books by him were all there. This time, I used the in-store search engine to look for the title and located it at its linguistics section. I wanted to read it before “The Blank Slate,” which I finished this afternoon.



Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Worst Than Ever Before" -- That's Really Bad

Reporting the flood of yesterday, the website of Channel NewsAsia quotes a shop managing director in the Orchard area as saying, “worst than ever before.” I say to the manager, Go back to school and learn English from scratch. Even Japanese high school kids can detect and correct the mistake.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Differnet Personalities" Lead to Divorce Here + Orchard Flood

The article of Channel NewsAsia on divorce cases today says, “A higher proportion of males (29 per cent) than females (8.7 per cent) petitioned on the ground of ‘Personality difference.’” If you want the “same personality” in your spouse, marry yourself.

The intersection of Orchard and Scotts got flooded this morning. It was quite dark this morning and I thought it was still before dawn. To me, before dawn means night, no matter what time it is. By the time I was out of bed, the rain subsided substantially and it was only a drizzle here. And when I learned about the flood, it was like “Heavy rain and flood? What flood?”

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bug Extermination Campaign & "你来、你来"

I’ve embarked on a dry-up campaign here to kill the book bugs as they love humidity. But what’s funny is that the air-conditioner when it is set to “Dry” seem to push down the temperature lower than when set to “Cool” though the selected temperature is the same or above. Or at least my body feels that way.

Early morning, I had trouble sleeping because of shouts of drunken people outside. I even heard a woman’s voice saying “ni lai, ni lai (你来、你来)” apparently to invite a man to her unit. I guess the woman was one of my neighbours who seemed to manage to pay the rent and is continuing to stay here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Amateur Editor, "JA Post-O Pre-Q" and Book Bugs

It has been an irritating day. Since last night, I have tried to avert attempts to edit my work as I believe the person cannot be considered a pro. What’s worse, when I objected, he suggested consulting “local” people. Nothing could be worse than that! I know the English proficiency of the “locals” better than most people. Eventually, I gave up realizing the futility to convince him otherwise.

And this afternoon, three PDF files arrived for another work. The name of each one of them contained “ja* (after o and before q)-eng.” The parent company of the original sender is a huge U.S. organization. Is her company not educating its staff not to offend customers, colleagues, business partners, etc.?

For the past fortnight or so, I see “book bugs” enjoying themselves on my bookshelves. They don’t make serious damages to the books but it is not a very good sight to greet them. Wonder if there is any effective way to get rid of them…

Friday, June 04, 2010


I found a notice on the door of one of my neighbours that said, “DON’T PAID RENTAL BY MONDAY WE WILL ERASE UR CARD NO. & TRIP UR ELECTRIC. TKS U.” This is the neighbour who used to live with her son at the unit. The “CARD” seems to refer to the number of the security card assigned to her that is required to enter the building. The message is written in almost the worst Singapore-style English. Why does it have to be written in English when it is done in a very terrible way? Would it be admitted as a piece of evidence should it become a court case? The tenant may say, “I have seen the message but I couldn’t figure out what it meant because it was written in such an unintelligible way. So I ignored it.”

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Miserable Language of Departing PM

昨日の民主党両院議員総会で鳩山首相が、「私自身もこの職を引かせていただく」「幹事長の職を引いていただきたい」「壁にWe are the one。我々は一つだと標語が掲げられていた」と上ずった口調で話していた。
「職を引く」なんて日本語があるのか。「職から身を引く」ならわかるが。「We are one」ではなく、「We are the one(s)」なんだから、「我々は一つ」ではなく、「自分たちが主役だ」などの意味だろう。この人、本当に「すたんふぉ~どダイガク」なんだろうか。奇妙極まりない敬語を使いながら、このような語句の誤用をやらかす。前任者は漢字が読めないとさんざん批判されたのに、マスコミは何で見逃してきたのだろう。「loopy」の意味が何だとくだらん話をしているマスコミ自体の言語に対する無知を反映しているような気がする。

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Two Starkly Different Meetings

Afternoon of the 26th, when I was walking in Millennium Walk after depositing some cheques at the bank, I received a call from AL. We quickly set up a “Brewerkz” beer session for that evening. It was nice to see him again exactly a year after we worked together in Tokyo. We updated each other and had a nice talk, the kind of talk that is almost impossible to have with my country folks. Two "decent" Filipino women joined us, which made the night even more enjoyable. I appreciate that he contacted me.

The following day, I had a meeting at the office of my newest client to sort out the culinary confusion. Though the author of the recipes was a nice middle-aged woman, it seems to me she is unable to talk logically without digressions. She said, “For the dozen years I’ve been here, I’ve visited only Isetan, Meidi-ya (formerly Daimaru), Takashimaya and Japanese school.” Such a person! The contrast was stark with the stories AL and I shared with each other. All points should have been clarified at the meeting, but not very surprisingly I found a few other inconsistencies after the talk, which I managed to solve, thus saved time. I delivered the translated recipes today.