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Peculiar usage of words in Singaporean vocabulary

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 1:09 pm

nakatago wrote:can
not

:roll:


can or not ? or cannot ??

Somehow many here give me the 'looks' when I say "no we cant' do that " and they repeat 'you mean 'cannot do one ' ??

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 1:36 pm

ecureilx wrote:
nakatago wrote:can
not

:roll:


can or not ? or cannot ??

Somehow many here give me the 'looks' when I say "no we cant' do that " and they repeat 'you mean 'cannot do one ' ??


Everybody does.

Everybody does.

:console:

http://youtu.be/d2GCp8vs168

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Postby BedokAmerican » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 2:14 pm

Here's another:
"Queue" instead of "line."

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 2:25 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:Here's another:
"Queue" instead of "line."


Line like "fall in Line" ?? :)

In the Queen's Language, Queue is fine .. says me . ;)

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Postby BedokAmerican » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 2:30 pm

ecureilx wrote:
BedokAmerican wrote:Here's another:
"Queue" instead of "line."


Line like "fall in Line" ?? :)

In the Queen's Language, Queue is fine .. says me . ;)


Line, such as "waiting in line" for a cab, a cash register, the bathroom, etc.

I just thought of another one I haven't heard until coming here: "hand phone."

I've always called them cell phones or cellular phones. I now know when I see "HP" followed by 8 numbers that it's a cell phone. At first I thought it meant "home phone" (as in a land phone line.)

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 2:34 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:
I just thought of another one I haven't heard until coming here: "hand phone."

I've always called them cell phones or cellular phones. I now know when I see "HP" followed by 8 numbers that it's a cell phone. At first I thought it meant "home phone" (as in a land phone line.)


That is a Singapore/Malaysia thing. Probably came from manuals where the units that you hold up to your head were often referred to as hand sets. But everybody else used mobile phones or cell/cellular phones or just phones.

First time I saw a sign, I also thought home phone. I was like, "Why would contractors/dentists tell everyone their home phone number?"

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Postby singapore eagle » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 2:42 pm

This a great thread. Americans finding fault in other people's use of english. :D

More seriously, I have a four-year old daughter, so I'm fighting a daily battle against peculiar use of words.

Today's favourites:

keep = put away
reach = arrive
on/off = switch on/switch off

I can't decide if the above are straight out bad english or just a local vernacular?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 2:42 pm

I didn't have that problem as I arrived here before the advent of the commercial Cell Phones (Motorola). So, when I would go back to the US, hearing Cell Phone sounded strange to me, although it is the correct term.

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 2:53 pm

singapore eagle wrote:reach = arrive


Oh man.

"Please call my hand phone when you have reached."

It's up there with...

(scenario: just got off the company shuttle bus at the MRT station)
colleague: "Are you going back?"
me: "Why would I go back? We just came from work."

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Postby BedokAmerican » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 3:00 pm

Here's yet another:
"Lift" instead of "elevator."

I now find myself using the word "lift" more often than "elevator." Less syllables to pronounce, I suppose that's why.

One thing that confused me in shopping malls is that there will be a sign to a lift and it'll look a little like a bathroom sign because it has the male and female stick figures similar to a bathroom sign. I'll be looking for the bathroom and realize I'm going in the direction of the lift. I now make sure that if there are arrows with the stick people that it means "lift." The stick people alone mean "bathroom."

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Postby PNGMK » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 3:06 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:Here's yet another:
"Lift" instead of "elevator."

I now find myself using the word "lift" more often than "elevator." Less syllables to pronounce, I suppose that's why.

One thing that confused me in shopping malls is that there will be a sign to a lift and it'll look a little like a bathroom sign because it has the male and female stick figures similar to a bathroom sign. I'll be looking for the bathroom and realize I'm going in the direction of the lift. I now make sure that if there are arrows with the stick people that it means "lift." The stick people alone mean "bathroom."


British brought the lift to Singapore and a lift it shall remain.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 3:15 pm

I agree. "Lift" is much easier to say than "elevator" and takes up less space when putting letters on signs.

Here's another: "toilet" instead of "bathroom/restroom."
Toilet just sounds a bit too graphic when you're asking someone for directions to "the toilet." It seems like "restroom" (or even "bathroom") sounds less embarrassing.

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Postby abbym » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 4:18 pm

Toilet is also usual in the uk. There's no bath in there and it's not for rest... So toilet makes most sense in my British mind too! Never heard of being embarrassed to use a toilet!

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 5:19 pm

How about repeating the words twice:
You come here faster faster
They talk talk here talk talk there
:lol:

To ZZM, another example of using complex words instead of simple(I already gave you the example of "Lousy")

People here use the word "Shower" instead of "Bath". In India we always used "Bath"

Another one people here say "Take a nap" In India we always say "Going to sleep"

I guess, its in India that we use over simplified English and that makes me think Singaporeans use more complex words :)

Another word, I have almost never heard Indians using while talking is the word "perhaps", we always use "may be" instead. Ive heard Singaporeans using "Perhaps" though.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 9:22 pm

Maybe they say shower instead of bath because not all bathrooms have tubs and are more likely to have showers.

Here is another:

"Car park," as opposed to "parking lot." By using "car park," it sounds like only cars can park in the lot, although I know that's not the case. What about motorcycles, trucks, vans, etc? One thing that is standard is the sign with the big P with a square around it.


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