Are people afraid to say they "don't know" something?

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 12:30 am

I think you can judge the intent from the tone of voice. As you say ang mo
can be a bit of friendly banter, like calling a Scotchman [ :wink: ] Jocky, or an Irishman Paddy, or indeed an Australian 'Oz' or similar. You're 'joking with someone', not 'joking at someone'.

For some reason the lifts down to the MRT seemed to be a hotspot for people making derogatory comments about me in Chinese behind my back. For a while my SGn (but non SGn-looking) wife would translate these for me and I was genuinely shocked at the bile in some complete strangers.

Pretty soon I got to recognise when someone was 'having a pop' at my expense. So I got my wife to teach me a few short but truly gutter phrases in Mandarin, to turn around and say right to their faces in front of everyone in the lifts.

The looks of complete stunned horror on their faces, made all my anger simply disappear.

Justice done.

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Post by nakatago » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 12:32 am

BedokAmerican wrote: I then looked it up by itself and then realized it means "red hair" and can be considered derogatory toward whites.
It's derogatory because initially, it was red-haired monkeys.
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 12:46 am

Well, it doesn't bother me at all. Maybe I've just got a thick skin or just realize that the local here, for the most part, are ignorant of the fact that "some" white honkies take offense at the term. For me, it's like water off'n a ducks back. Call me anything except "late for dinner"!
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by JR8 » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 1:11 am

I usually have zero problem with being called ang mo, as I have far worthier things to get stressed about. It's what sometimes comes packaged together with it that can be offensive, sometimes grossly.

The willingness of some people to publicly insult 'the whitey' reminds me of post-war 'North Vietnam'. For some individuals it's almost like it's been programmed into their system, and they just can't help themselves from doing it.

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Post by Brah » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 1:18 am

...I'll just keep quiet on this one this time.....

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Post by chuckd » Sun, 20 Jan 2013 4:28 am

JR8 wrote:like calling a Scotchman [ :wink: ] Jocky
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be alone in saying we prefer 'Scotsman'. 'Scotch' just makes me think of a poor name for Whisky, or a process of wrapping an egg in meat, batter and deep frying it (which according to record is not Scottish BTW).
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Post by ankle » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 1:06 am

Just to share with you folks regarding this topic. Most likely, the supermarket assistant does not understand your question, especially if you have a strong accent. A simple "no" would be the quickest way to get themselves off this embarass situation.

Whenever I required assistant from sales person, I'll usually asked in English then switch to mandarin if they appeared to have difficulty in understanding me. Therefore, I didn't have any problem like some of the folks here had. But then again, I'm a local, so I guess my shopping/grocery experiences would be rather different from foreigners.

Based on personal experiences, I liked to approach aunties because they tend to be the most helpful lots.

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Post by robotcake » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:15 pm

That's my experience as well. The older folks (40 and above) are very chatty and will tell you everything you need to know and more. What is hilarious for me is when they start their 'Back in the day...' stories. I usually have to nod and pretend i'm interested in what they are saying then find an excuse to leave!
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Post by Brah » Thu, 24 Jan 2013 1:10 pm

Wrong.

Most likely
, young or old, they don't know what the eff they're talking about, are too afraid to loose face, believe their own BS, or are used to seeing others believe their BS, or whatever, to admit that which is painfully obvious - that they don't know the eff they're talking about.

But the dance can be entertaining to watch. Even better once you then educate them on what they're supposed to know in the first place.

There's an old saying - don't BS a BSer.

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Post by Segue » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 1:50 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:It's called AMT. Ang Mo Tax. :cool:

Go to a wet market and they double the price and then they do that with EVERY SINGLE ITEM you purchase and then they total it. :o
I just found out what Ang Mo means. I've heard of it but didn't know what it meant. i then saw your post thought it was an informal/discretionary tax so I looked it up and and there was no such tax. I then looked it up by itself and then realized it means "red hair" and can be considered derogatory toward whites.

Boy, I do have a lot to learn!
I prefer the term in Malaysia - "Mat Salleh" - coming from "Mad Sailor" - :lol:

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Post by the lynx » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 2:01 pm

Segue wrote:
BedokAmerican wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:It's called AMT. Ang Mo Tax. :cool:

Go to a wet market and they double the price and then they do that with EVERY SINGLE ITEM you purchase and then they total it. :o
I just found out what Ang Mo means. I've heard of it but didn't know what it meant. i then saw your post thought it was an informal/discretionary tax so I looked it up and and there was no such tax. I then looked it up by itself and then realized it means "red hair" and can be considered derogatory toward whites.

Boy, I do have a lot to learn!
I prefer the term in Malaysia - "Mat Salleh" - coming from "Mad Sailor" - :lol:
Here's the interesting Malay origin of the term Mat Salleh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mat_Salleh

If you Google the name itself, you will go to Malaysia history page about the locally patriotic hero called Mat Salleh, who declared war on British North Borneo Chartered Company who occupied Sabah.

But that doesn't prove how the term came to be. Still interesting stuff for "Did you know?" sessions.

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Post by x9200 » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 2:41 pm

ankle wrote:Just to share with you folks regarding this topic. Most likely, the supermarket assistant does not understand your question, especially if you have a strong accent. A simple "no" would be the quickest way to get themselves off this embarass situation.
If somebody in Singapore does not understand what you are saying the most common response triggered on a sub-concious level is "huh?". 2nd most common is to answer to a question possibly similar to what appeared to be asked by the choice of words inside (not necessary by meaning).

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Post by QRM » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 2:52 pm

Just came back from Culina, I asked the cashiers what is the difference between the two ready made pastries. Packets same size and shape but different colour. She said there was no difference apart from the packaging!

Turns out one is shortbread and the other is puff.

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Post by ankle » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 6:09 pm

@x9200
It depends whether the person you asking could speak your language well. Not sure whether you're aware of this. One common traits of Singaporean are the "simply Bo chap" (sbc). A typical sbc would choose not to get involved in anything and everything if it is too troublesome. Trying to understand your qns and trying to answer them in a unfamiliar language would be too troublesome.

@qrm
The job scopes and requirement of the cashiers does not include knowing the products. Next time, ask the promoter or sales assistant around the area where you pickup the product.

@brah,
So you're a BSer? I was actually quite impress with the Harvey normad sales person when I was accompanying my friend to shop for a new washing machine. He was able to explained the pros and cons of all the brands that are on displayed.

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Post by JR8 » Fri, 25 Jan 2013 6:36 pm

ankle wrote:@x9200
It depends whether the person you asking could speak your language well. Not sure whether you're aware of this. One common traits of Singaporean are the "simply Bo chap" (sbc). A typical sbc would choose not to get involved in anything and everything if it is too troublesome. Trying to understand your qns and trying to answer them in a unfamiliar language would be too troublesome.

@qrm
The job scopes and requirement of the cashiers does not include knowing the products. Next time, ask the promoter or sales assistant around the area where you pickup the product.

@brah,
So you're a BSer? I was actually quite impress with the Harvey normad sales person when I was accompanying my friend to shop for a new washing machine. He was able to explained the pros and cons of all the brands that are on displayed.

Is this a parody of accidental Singlish? :)


That said isn't the shop called Harveys Normads? ;

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