Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Beauty of the English Language....

I was sharing with my team member from Orange Tee, Yvonne, when we began to touch on the subject of food business.

"Food business is tough for it requires intensive labour and long hours of work," I volunteered.

"I think food biz is still quite ok what," reiterated Yvonne in Singlish. "Singaporeans still like to go out for makaning."

"What makaning?" "Is it an English or Malay word?" I laughed.

Yvonne also started laughing.

"Sorry, Yvonne....I am quite inclined to laugh easily".

"No problem," replied good-natured Yvonne.

"Nevertheless I think you have a good sense of English grammar and structure, and
that was why you sponataneously added the "ing" to the Malay word of "makan" which means "eat", I continued.

I guess this is the beauty of the English Language. Words can be coined and yet they sound so natural. I remember when I was still in secondary school in Penang, someone had coined the word, "Malaysianisation" as in civilisation. "Malaysianisation" was taken to mean the making of modern Malaysia.

I could still remember that when we first studied grammar in Primary school, our teacher taught us that after the word "to" the following verb must be a present tense. Yet now, continuous tense can be used, and I guess it is due to the sound effect and smoothness of pronunciation. eg. I look forward to seeing you sounds better than I look forward to see you. See what I mean.?

No I am not a linguist. I am only someone who hears music in the sound of words. There is also rythmn in the utterance of sentences. This is probably why I have always been interested in languages.

Gan Cao

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