Saturday, March 27, 2010

Loose One "o" lah!

"She's gonna let you down," Take It or Leave It by The Strokes.

As a product of the Malaysian Education system, we have all been required to learn English for at least 11 years (that's if you study until Form 5-lah). But with a whole pre-adolescent's life of going to English classes, a LOT of fundamental mistakes are still found in the English usage of Malaysians, but I'm only going to touch on the mistakes that make me cringe inside, because even some TESL/TESOL students make these. Seriously. And since I'm a future teacher, I'll kindly correct the mistakes. So if you find yourself saying "Eh, salah ke ni?" after reading, please take note. (Most of these mistakes are committed in written form, since it's hard to detect 'em when spoken)

"We're going to win and you are going to loose!"
It's lose, ok? Loose means longgar, or ill-fitted, so just imagine what the person at the receiving end feels like. (Most probably laughing his/her ass off in his/her head) (Ass in the head? lols!)

"You will only make it more worst!"
What? A comparative and a superlative put side-by-side? Cannoooooot. It's like saying (in BM) "Itu yang lebih terburuk". Yeah, some even say THAT in BM, but bottom line is that it's still wrong. The correct way of saying it would be either "You will only make it worse," or "That's the worst," depending on what you want to say.

"Man, this is unfair! You're so buyers!"
What does being unfair have to do with liking to spend money? Nothing, that's what. It's "bias" in it's base form, "biased" as an adjective.

"Your not funny!"
Yep, it's wrong. It should be "You're", the combination of the words "you" and "are", instead of the possessive pronoun, "your". Click here for further reference. Let Ross explain it to you.

"Let's go inside of the house."
This offence is actually committed even by Westerners. Does "Inside of you" ring any lyrical bells? The "of" is supposed to be omitted, as in "Let's go inside the house." If you insist on using the "of", using after the noun form of it is okay, like in "The inside of the house was beautiful".

"We also can bla bla bla.."
It's "can also" lah! This is a direct translation of "Kita juga boleh..", and direct translations don't work.

I risk looking like a total douche by posting this, since my English isn't all that perfect either. But I post this to rectify any person who has made these errors in the past and bring enlightenment to them. It is my hope that in the future, people who have read this post will no longer make the above mistakes. And if I have made any mistakes in my writing, please tell, because I know I'm far from being the next Obama or the Queen of England (English usage-wise).

Any other mistakes that make you wince? Drop 'em in the comment section yaw!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fish and Sharks

"I left my head and my heart on the dance floor," Telephone by Lady GaGa feat. Beyonce.

Here's another story I got from Life is an Open Secret by Sis Zabrina. It (sort of) goes like this:

Once upon a time, there was a magical land far away called Japun. The people there loved fresh fish. It was their rice to Malaysians, salads to vegetarians, and peanuts for anorexics. And they really kept high standards on the freshness of their aqua companions.

But because the Japunese population did not embrace celibacy, their land got highly populated. More people meant more mouths to feed, and that meant more fish to catch. Unfortunately, the waters around Japun were not that highly populated with fish. Thus, ships got bigger and went farther away to catch those gilled-swimmers.

But this presented a problem. The farther the fishermen went, the more time it took for them to return to the enchanted land of Japun. If it took more than a couple of days for the ship to return to land, the fish caught wouldn't be that fresh anymore. And you know how the Japunese get when they don't get their sushi fresh. Various websites were set up to speak up against the not-so-fresh fish and uncountable amounts of forums were opened to voice out their dissatisfaction.

Thus, the fishermen decided to install freezers on their boats to solve this problem. The caught fish would be frozen in hopes of preserving the much loved freshness of the finned-meat. Alas, the Japunese people could taste the difference between fresh fish and and frozen fish. They didn't like it at all. People took to the streets and conducted demonstrations, with their signs and banners, their over-zealous leader leading the march with a voice-volume-enhancer in hand, shouting "Down with frozen fish! Down with frozen fish!"

The fishermen quickly came up with another way to solve the problem. They installed fish tanks in their boats, and the fish caught would be kept fin-to-fin to be kept alive until they were brought to the shore. The fish would trash about at first, but after a while they would get tired and bored and not move much, but the good news was that they'd be still be alive. They gave themselves a pat on the back for this genius-seeming answer.

But, as expected by my smart readers, the Japunese people could tell the difference, and they didn't like these "tank fish". The fish hadn't moved around for days, so they had lost their fresh taste. Some even say that it tasted worse than the frozen fish. To show their anger, they burned down fish markets, took fishermen as hostages, robbed banks and looted electronic stores, while the suicide count in the country took a drastic shot upwards.

This worried the fishermen. It made them afraid and pointed their fish-odoured fingers towards each other, since nobody really knew who gave the prior suggestion. Then, in the most trying of times, a genius idea was hatched. The suggestion was to put a small shark in each tank so that those fish wouldn't be static and distasteful. Of course they would lose a few fish to the shark, but overall, the fish would still be lively and fresh, since they needed to run, eh, swim away from the shark for their survival. Plus, what was a few fish compared to their family's safety, right? So they gave it a shot.

This worked, and the Japunese people were satisfied with the quality of the fish that was coming their way. They stopped all their emotional demonstrations and peace was restored. Oh, and they all lived happily ever after.


Of course, I have put my own spin on this story. But you get the point of the story right?

The adversities we face in life are actually those sharks, and we are like the fish. Those sharks keep us awake, alive, vibrant and active (to borrow the words of Sis Zabrina). They keep us from getting too comfortable with ourselves, making us un-fresh, stale and cause nationwide panic.

Those who are sluggish will be gulped down by the shark, and those that gape at others who have been gulped will also be gulped. Doesn't that make you want to say "Gulp!"

So, be thankful for those sharks in life, but don't stay still and do nothing when they come. Swim, find your way and survive to swim another day to be fresh in order to make people happy.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sorry for the Broken Eggs

"You build me up, you break me down," Tik Tok by Ke$ha.

Yes, yes, I have been away for almost a month now.

And I have come back just to share a short story I read from a book entitled "Life is an Open Secret" by Zabrina A. Bakar. And it goes like this:

There was once a kindergarten teacher who was in charge of a class of brilliant and hyperactive (figuratively, not ADHD) pre-adults. Since they were the most active of students, the class was the noisiest one in the kindie.

One day, a fight broke out in the playground during recess that involved two students from the aforementioned class. The teacher who was just about to sink her teeth into her healthy broccoli and tomato cheesecake noticed the commotion and broke up the fight.

The blonde male child of course screamed "He started it!" while the male child with black hair exclaimed "He called me fat!"

They were both brought to the principal's office where the Head of Children's Development demanded in a low but authoritative voice,"Tell me what happened."

"He punched me," said the blonde boy.

"He called me fat, and said that I looked like a hippo," said the teary-eyed black haired boy, obviously feeling the pain of the hippopotamus at being dissed with such an insult.

The next day, the class was quieter than usual, the aftereffect of the fight in full-flight. The teacher, ever-competent in her work of developing these children both cognitively as well as emotionally and spiritually (physically has been omitted to avoid offense towards the less-abled) came up with a plan.

She called on one of the girls to the front of the class randomly, without applying any favoritism and said "Class, today, we are going to do an experiment. I have an egg. Taylor will help me crack it. When she does, I want everyone to observe, look at what happens to the egg."

"Okay Taylor, you can do it now." When Taylor had successfully finished her given task, she went back to her place with a pat on her back by the teacher.

"Now, can anyone tell me you saw?" Several hands were raised.

"Yes Elle?" she pointed to a girl that had been raising her hand since morning.

"The calcium layer of the egg was successfully fissured and the albumen as well as the nucleus or the yolk as we call it spilled out, although the vitelline membrane was successfully kept intact."

Just managing to prevent her jaw from dropping to the very detailed observations made by Elle, the teacher replied, "Very good Elle."

"Now, the pierc de resistance (at this failed attempt at French, Elle shook her head), does any one of you know how to put the egg back in its shell?"

The class did not have an answer, not even genius Elle (not that she lacked the brain power, it's just that it was out of her zone of proximal development).

"Come on, who can answer me? I'm waiting.." the teacher teased quite unethically, although she did have her point, as we are about to find out.

"Teacher, we can't put the egg back in its shell. It's just not possible nor viable!" Exclaimed Elle.

"Correct you are again Elle! We can't put the egg back together. And you know why? An egg once broken remains broken," while turning to the two boys that fought the day before. "The same is true with words. Every time a word leaves a mouth, it can never return. That's why we should be careful of what we say to others. Words can be hurtful and may even ruin a future, like breaking an egg."

At this, the blonde-haired boy stood up, walked all of 5 feet to the weight-abled classmate and said "I'm sorry I called you fat."

"I'm sorry I punched you," answered the child.

The teacher smiled, and the class was back to its old noisy self again.


Of course, this is my own rendition of the story. But do you get my point?

The point that, once you say something, you can never take it back.
The point that it sometimes takes kids to show us conflict resolution.
The point that, no, the questions. Questions such as "How many eggs have I broken?" and "Have I apologized to the owners of those eggs that I broke?"

Here, I would like to apologize to anyone and everyone that have been hurt by my egg-breaking, or word blurting. I know that my mouth runs without having to consult my brain most of the times, and this results in a lot of hurt for others.

I truly am sorry, for I never say something that would hurt my friends intentionally (if you're not my friend, then that's a different story). Friends, family, if I have ever blurted something out of my mouth capriciously and it resulted in your feelings being affected in a negative way, I hope you find it in your hearts to forgive me, for I am nothing without you.

Sorry again!