Monday, 25 May 2015

[Straits Times] More English, less Singlish

IT IS common knowledge that typical Singaporeans have a propensity to communicate in pidgin English among themselves ("Reverse trend of speaking poor English" by Ms Amy Loh Chee Seen; April 28, "Use good English at all times" by Ms Lim Lih Mei, and "Steps towards better English" by Mr Tan Teck Huat; both published on May 2, all published on Forum Online).
Such spoken English would not appear intelligible to the international community at large.
I recently watched Mind Your Language, a British sitcom which aired on our national television during the 1980s.
One stood to learn many impeccable English phrases, expressions and figures of speech from it.
Similarly, tuning in to the BBC channel on the radio is another avenue to learn good English.
I look forward to a time when Singaporeans are finally accustomed to speaking good English.
While it is impractical to abolish Singlish altogether, we should at least make a concerted effort to minimise its use.
Teo Kok Seah