Archive for September, 2009

halfway into hell week

Had 19th Century test this morning. Haven’t had a lit test in more than a year.

First section consisted of short answer questions. They went like this:

When was Wuthering Heights published? ___________

(1847; I got that one right.)

The next section was a choice of essays. Horrifying.

Actually the whole thing was horrifying. Enough said.

Interactional Discourse test in the afternoon was marginally better.

:/

别让我猜你要什么

别让我猜你要什么

吴淡如

女人喜欢猜心游戏,但没有男人喜欢一直玩猜心游戏。
大多数女子,用的都是暗示法,只可惜有些男人只听得懂明示。

“下礼拜就是我的生日, 别忘记噢。”芝芝提醒家豪。

“没忘记啦,” 家豪嘴里虽然这么说,其实很感谢芝芝提醒他, 他最近工作忙, 真怕自己记不得。“哪。。。 你要什么礼物?”

“我可以自己选吗?”

“当然, 我竭诚希望你直接告诉我 – 因为,我猜不中的啦。”家豪最怕女人要什么,包括他自己的母亲的需求,从没有一次猜中过,猜了十多年,才发现妈妈最喜欢收到现金。 最不好的“你猜”经验来自前女友, 老是要他猜, 他若猜错, 她就冷言冷语,四处告状, 难搞不已。

“那我要一个X牌型号852的皮包。” 芝芝说:“两万元(台币)不会太贵吧?”“没问题,请把品牌型号传给我。” 家豪如获大赦。 “我还会告诉你哪里买得到,” 芝芝说:“我也可以自己去买啦,不过就太没情调了,对不对?”家豪欣赏就是芝芝的坦率,她没那么难懂, 不会制造难题。

女人喜欢玩心游戏,但没有男人喜欢一直玩猜心游戏。像芝芝一样会直接告诉男友自己要什么的女孩,并不是多数。大多数女子, 用的都是暗示法, 只可惜有些男人只听得懂明示。

还是有不少女孩认为“他喜欢我就应该观察我喜欢什么”,认为直接讲出来, 就缺少惊喜和感动。可是万一他买错或忘记, 她又不高兴。 这样的女人就被男人认为“很难讨好”。

当然,也有一种男人很难搞 – 已经明示他,自己喜欢什么, 他偏要送别的,因为 “被指定的话,就有一种被命令的感觉”,所以他喜欢发挥自己的创意。 女人会觉得,你根本不重视我,把我的话当耳边风。此类富有创意的礼物,最惹女人生气!

早报周刊 2009年9月13日

换汤不换药

ST does it again!

Yet another article joining the ranks of its other pieces slamming Singlish and equating it to bad English.

Very amusing, really:

Keeping Singlish at bay

John Lui


Speak well but don’t feel too bad if a temporary surrender is called for

The funny thing about peer pressure is that it comes from people who would hate to think of you as one of their peers.

That is the whole point, really. The pressure is to change you so you can be allowed into the group.

As much as people mock Miss Singapore World Ris Low – the young woman who caused an online uproar with her mangled pronunciation – they are outnumbered.

People who speak like her are in our schools and workplaces and I have lived among her kind – the kind who say ‘crips’ for crisp – during the various periods of my life when I lived as an exile in the Land Of The Lost Consonant.

Delicate reader, you may gasp and tremble at the tale to follow, but verily did I walk among people for whom ‘hor’ was like a comma or full-stop for the rest of us.

I broke bread around the lunch table with those who felt the vowel in ‘there’ was plastic, meant to be stretched for pointing out items far away and shortened for things nearby.

I remember one person telling me to go look ‘over there’ for a form, to be found behind some papers at the end of the hall. The vowel in that word rattled about in her nasal cavity for so long that I swear I heard it nest and raise offspring. Oh, and there was that ever-helpful chin-point too.

Like a messiah bringing news of the wonders of grammar and diction, I arrived at one small publishing company as editor six years ago. As I entered, I tsk-tsked over the noticeboard proclaiming a ‘mixed volleyballs finals’ and that staff should not ‘disturbed the servers in the computer room’.

The sheriff just rode into town, I thought. Time to clean up. Time to send some grammar bandits to jail. Sorry, gaol.

As it turned out, my plans did not take into account my arch-nemesis, Julia. Every office has a Julia. She is the alpha female, the leader of the pack, the loudest of the loud. She is the namer and the shamer. She anoints and she condemns. She giveth and she taketh away.

She was a graphic artist, but her soft power in the lunch room far exceeded that of the vice-presidents. Julia’s speech was Singlish and she was damned proud of it. She declared that anyone who did not speak it and who did not have the excuse of being born outside Singapore was pretending to be above his station. I was, at first, accepted into her circle and I was grateful that through her, I could get access to people who mattered.

But little did I know that her operation was like that of a cult. It starts with gentle ribbing (‘Wah, why must take so long to say?’) then it escalates into outright scolding (‘Eh! Can talk faster or not?’). I imagine this is what Maoist re-education and self-criticism must be like. I began to doubt myself. After all, the president and all the vice-presidents of the company, presumably an outpost of an American multinational, used Cantonese among themselves when they were bonding and in high spirits, and a self-conscious, mumbled English when they were sombre and about to break bad news at town hall meetings.

Good English, or rather, the effort made to use it, was associated with bad times. Bad English was for friends.

The four years I spent there were a strange period in my life when there was pressure to dumb-down, or rather, friend-up, my speech. Like a ham radio operator, I carefully dialled in the correct diction frequency so I could communicate with the tribe and therefore belong. On Survivor Island, everyone does it to win a million bucks. I did it so Julia and her pack would not turn me into the butt of communal jokes.

Deep inside, I shrivelled up a little every time I used ‘nor’, ‘nuuu’ and ‘nah’ to assign ownership of pens and staplers to various persons. If one did not know how to use these three vocal sound effects properly, Julia’s suspicions would be aroused. Lunchtime could be awkward time.

Now that I have safely escaped Stalag Julia, I can say that I was only pretending to speak Singlish. Take that!

I am not alone in being an undercover Good English speaker. In national service, using the incorrect lingo to one’s trainers could turn you from an anonymous recruit to ‘marked man’. Using long words is not as bad as not knowing your left foot from your right on the parade square, or not being able to field-strip a rifle in under a minute, but it is unwise to flaunt one’s enunciation to someone who could make you do enough push-ups to shift the Earth from its orbit.

So kudos to the freaks who let their linguistic flags fly high. A colleague told me of a classmate at the Anglo-Chinese School who was hit on the head by a rugby player for speaking in a manner the player deemed too posh and prissy. In spite of being threatened with more beatings, he did not drop his manner of speech. That, ladies and gentlemen, is courage.

I sought the advice of Mr Goh Eck Kheng, the chairman of the Speak Good English Movement, to ask him the best way to resist the Singlish nazis. When the Ris Lows of Singapore gang up on you, what do you do?

‘Look at it in a bigger context,’ he said. Young people, for example, are pressured to go to the right clubs and wear the right clothes. It is not just a speech issue but an issue of overall conformity.

‘If you want to belong to the in-group you will succumb. But it means giving up your identity to be an anonymous digit in a larger group,’ he said.

Wise words.

So stop the race to the bottom. As the tide of slurred speech and rushed vocalisations rushes in, be the rock and stand fast, he said.

But this is what I say: Be the you that you want to be, even if it means being an outcast. But if you see Julia coming, make a temporary surrender. Good English is nice, but lunchtime is a meal.

The Straits Times, 19 September 2009

research workshop seminar 5

Last Friday, rushed into RW 20 minutes late, umbrella in tow; it had just stopped raining:

Prof Mo: Virtuous people don’t get rained on.
Me: I didn’t get rained on; I had an umbrella.
*class laughs*

Apparently he had pulled that line on some other people who came in with brollies as well.

snippet

In the queue for cai fan at the Frontier this afternoon:

KN: If you get a rich man you should marry him [to get his money legally]!

Me: [slight pause] Koh Ni you are a bad influence leh! I DID NOT EVEN THINK OF THAT LOR!!!

Haha the uncle just ahead of us must be appalled by our conversation. But who asked him to be eavesdropping anyway? :P

And KN’s well on her way to becoming an ovo-lacto-pescetarian! :)

interactional discourse seminar 3

Taxidermy is the preservation of taxis.

over food

Met my mentor Merrily and fellow mentee YL for lunch in school last Thursday.

YL didn’t attend the mentorship dinner, so I never saw her until that day. Thought she would be a girly sort of girl, but she totally wasn’t! :P  She’s from NY (I guessed this right, lol!) and AC, which is sorta opposite of my schools, and  likes stuff I do not (like backpacking!!! all over Southeast Asia!!! NEVER!!!).  But I suppose we are more similar than we think. ;)

And it turns out that she is good friends with one of the girls who organized the fashion show. Yes small world that.

And Merrily was wearing a bandanna and in a great hurry as usual. Still cute though. Heh. :D

美人难过英雄关

郭襄道:“大哥哥,将来若是我向你也求三件事,你肯不肯答应?”杨过慨然道:“但教力之所及,无不从命。”从怀里取出一只小盒,打开盒盖,拈了三枚小龙女平素所用的金针暗器,递给郭襄,说道:“我见此金针,如见你面。你如不能亲自会我,托人持针传命,我也必给你办到。”

郭襄道:“多谢你啦!”接过金针,说道:“我先说第一个心愿。”当即以第一枚金针还给了杨过,道:“我要你取下面具,让我瞧瞧你的容貌。”杨过笑道:“这件事未免太过轻而易举,我因不愿多见旧人,是以戴上面具。你这么随随便便的使了一枚金针,岂不可惜?”心想:“我既已亲口许诺,再无翻悔,你持了金针,便要我去干天大的难事,我也义无反顾。怎地意来叫我做这样一件不相干的小事?”郭襄道:“连你真面目也没见过,怎能算是识你?这可不是小事。”杨过道:“好!”左手一起,揭下了脸上的面具。

郭襄眼前登时现出一张清癯俊秀的脸孔,剑眉入鬓,凤眼生威,只是脸色苍白,颇显憔悴。杨过见她怔怔的瞧着自己,神色间颇为异样,微笑道:“怎么?”郭襄俏脸一红。低声道:“没甚么。”心中却说:“想不到你生得这般俊。”

她定一定神,又将一枚金针递给杨过,说道:“我要说第二个心愿啦。”杨过微笑道:“你再过几年说也不迟,小姑娘家,尽说些孩子气的心愿。”却不伸手接针。郭襄将金针塞到他年里,说道:“我这第二个心愿是,今年十月廿四我生日那天,你到襄阳来见一见我,跟我说一会子话。”这虽比第一个心愿费事些,可仍然孩子气极重。杨过笑道:“我答应了,这又有甚么大不了?不过我只见你一人,你爹妈姊姊他们,我却不见。”郭襄笑道:“我自然由得。”

她白嫩的手拈着第三枚金针,在月光下闪闪生辉,说道:“这第三个心愿嘛……”杨过
微微摇头,心想:“我杨过岂是轻易许人的?小姑娘不知轻重,将我的许诺视作玩意。”只见她脸上突然一阵晕红,笑道:“这第三个心愿,我现下想不出,日后再跟你说。”

金庸《神雕侠侣》第三十五回

泰华真人

From Wikipedia, about 号:

Hào (pseudonym)

Hào (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: hào; Japanese ; Korean: ho; Vietnamese: hiệu) is an alternative courtesy name, usually referred to as the pseudonym. It was most commonly three or four characters long, and may have originally become popular due to people having the same . A hào was usually self-selected and it was possible to have more than one. It had no connection with the bearer’s míng or ; rather it was often a very personal, sometimes whimsical, choice perhaps embodying an allusion or containing a rare character, as might befit an educated literatus. Another possibility was to use the name of one’s residence as one’s hào; thus Su Shi’s hào Dongpo Jushi (i.e., ‘Resident of Dongpo’ (‘Eastern slope’), a residence he built while in exile). An author’s hào was also often used in the title of his collected works.

from here

And on Saturday night somehow Grand Dotter asked me on MSN about the  字 I gave her in 2007. Then the conversation progressed to 号, and  I suggested she call herself 泰华真人!!! Lol.  (At time of writing her MSN nickname is still 泰华真人 刘贞晔. And KN’s is currently 冯心砚.)

Whimsical indeed. ;)


Hào (pseudonym)

Chinese style name
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese:
Simplified Chinese:
Transliterations
Mandarin
Hanyu Pinyin: hào
Wade-Giles: hào
Japanese name
Kana: ごう (modern usage)
がう (historical usage)
Kyūjitai:
Shinjitai:
Transliterations
Romaji:
Korean name
Hangul:
Hanja:
Transliterations
Revised
Romanization
:
ho
McCune-
Reischauer
:
ho

Hào (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: hào; Japanese ; Korean: ho; Vietnamese: hiệu) is an alternative courtesy name, usually referred to as the pseudonym. It was most commonly three or four characters long, and may have originally become popular due to people having the same . A hào was usually self-selected and it was possible to have more than one. It had no connection with the bearer’s míng or ; rather it was often a very personal, sometimes whimsical, choice perhaps embodying an allusion or containing a rare character, as might befit an educated literatus. Another possibility was to use the name of one’s residence as one’s hào; thus Su Shi‘s hào Dongpo Jushi (i.e., ‘Resident of Dongpo’ (‘Eastern slope’), a residence he built while in exile). An author’s hào was also often used in the title of his collected works.


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