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Peculiar usage of words in Singaporean vocabulary

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abbym
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Postby abbym » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 11:14 pm

Car park also British! :)

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Postby bloodhound123 » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 11:30 pm

Another commonly used word is the overloaded "plus". The cost of this would be 40 "plus". He was seen in that place at 11 "plus".

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 11:40 pm

bloodhound123 wrote:Another commonly used word is the overloaded "plus". The cost of this would be 40 "plus". He was seen in that place at 11 "plus".


Yeah, thats a wierd one and the thing that puts me off sometimes is how casual they are about the plus, for example something costs $1900, they say it cost $1000 plus, lah. You will never hear them rounding it upwards and say it costs close to $2000.

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Postby maneo » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 11:42 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 ' ??


Angmohs:
A - Would it be possible for you to do this?
B - Yes, I can do this.

Singaporeans:
A - Can?
B - Can.

More efficient lah.
:P

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Postby bloodhound123 » Fri, 09 Aug 2013 11:55 pm

maneo wrote:
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 ' ??


Angmohs:
A - Would it be possible for you to do this?
B - Yes, I can do this.

Singaporeans:
A - Can?
B - Can.

More efficient lah.
:P


I have heard this particular statement from a lot of cabbies when you ask them if a particular route X would be good at that hour - "Can also can, cannot also can".

In general I find Singlish to be very algorithmic and once you have a hang of the "vocabulary", interacting and prolonging a conversation is easy and interesting too.
I am very fond of the pan grilled fish that is served in several hawker centers here. I request them to serve me rice instead of fries and the staff confirms that the message was interpreted correctly with this statement - "fries replace with rice?"

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Postby Mi Amigo » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 2:06 am

BedokAmerican wrote: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.

The examples you've quoted (lift, car park, toilet, etc.) all sound normal to a UK English educated person. Bearing in mind that this was a British territory until relatively recently, it's to be expected that those words will be used rather than their US English equivalents. Note that I'm not categorising these into 'right' and wrong', just postulating on the usage of UK centric vocabulary.

Having said that, I still cringe when people here use a preposition as a verb, as in 'on it'. Or use 'advice' when they mean 'advise' (and vice versa). Mind you, I also find it strange with Americans use nouns as verbs (e.g. "Let's dialog on that"). Hey, any noun can be verbed, right? Well, wrong IMHO.

True story: When we moved to the US back in the 90s, my (Spanish) wife initially had trouble adapting to American vocabulary. The first time we went to a shopping mall, she couldn't find the toilets anywhere, but was very impressed that the big stores had created special rooms for people to relax in when they became tired from too much shopping.

Earlier, when Mrs. Mi Amigo first moved to the UK, she saw a sign in a department store that said 'Made to measure blinds', and thought that it was a special section where visually impaired people could go to be measured for clothing. Later she studied English to Cambridge proficiency level and now she corrects me sometimes (the cheek of it! ;-) ).
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 11:49 am

I just feel sorry for the poor British smoker who calls up room service in middle of the night, in San Francisco, and asks for a pack of fags! :o :lol:

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Postby Max Headroom » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 1:01 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:Having said that, I still cringe when people here use a preposition as a verb, as in 'on it'. Or use 'advice' when they mean 'advise' (and vice versa).


Not quite as cringe-inducing as advices or equipments or - horror! - stuffs.

Still, I reckon Singlish is awesome in its succinctness, as well as, paradoxically, its flowery imaginative expressions. Half past six, shake legs. And, yeah, eat snake.

Shiok :)

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Postby BedokAmerican » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 2:00 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:
BedokAmerican wrote: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.

The examples you've quoted (lift, car park, toilet, etc.) all sound normal to a UK English educated person. Bearing in mind that this was a British territory until relatively recently, it's to be expected that those words will be used rather than their US English equivalents. Note that I'm not categorising these into 'right' and wrong', just postulating on the usage of UK centric vocabulary.

Having said that, I still cringe when people here use a preposition as a verb, as in 'on it'. Or use 'advice' when they mean 'advise' (and vice versa). Mind you, I also find it strange with Americans use nouns as verbs (e.g. "Let's dialog on that"). Hey, any noun can be verbed, right? Well, wrong IMHO.

True story: When we moved to the US back in the 90s, my (Spanish) wife initially had trouble adapting to American vocabulary. The first time we went to a shopping mall, she couldn't find the toilets anywhere, but was very impressed that the big stores had created special rooms for people to relax in when they became tired from too much shopping.

Earlier, when Mrs. Mi Amigo first moved to the UK, she saw a sign in a department store that said 'Made to measure blinds', and thought that it was a special section where visually impaired people could go to be measured for clothing. Later she studied English to Cambridge proficiency level and now she corrects me sometimes (the cheek of it! ;-) ).


Sorry if I've offended anyone. That wasn't my intent. I'm having some fun with this. I agree that the American way of speak isn't always the best way.

Yes, you're right that "restroom" is kind of a funny word because people don't go there to take naps. I've found that "restroom" in America is more commonly used in public places and that "bathroom" is more commonly used in homes. Then there's "washroom," which sounds a bit old fashioned.

It's just that when you ask for the "toilet," you're implying you need to pull down your pants and "do your business." If you ask for the "restroom," you could be implying that you need to wash your hands, look in the mirror, maybe use the toilet, etc. Therefore, in my opinion, restroom is just a more general term and less invasive than "toilet" because people don't want to know exactly what you're going to do in the bathroom/restroom/toilet. But I'm pretty sure that 99% of the people who go to the restroom use the toilet.

Ok, here's another term used here at restaurants: "Take away" instead of "to go."

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Postby abbym » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 2:31 pm

Take away also British. Washroom is pretty common in Canada and makes more sense than rest room. Also here there are hand wash places around so if you just want to wash then you might end up there unless you specify toilet? I'd use bathroom if it's a room with a bath, at home or otherwise. Another common British word is loo. Maybe less embarrassing? Still just means toilet though.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 4:12 pm

Here are 2 others:

"Aunty/Uncle" for everybody, instead of reserving it for your mother or father's sister or sister-in-law or brother or BIL.

"Sachets" as opposed to "packets"

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 5:08 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:Here are 2 others:

"Aunty/Uncle" for everybody, instead of reserving it for your mother or father's sister or sister-in-law or brother or BIL.

"Sachets" as opposed to "packets"


Sachets are common in South East Asia as they make things look more affordable.

Calling people a familial honorific also common in the region.

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Postby PNGMK » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 9:37 pm

I need to lose some 'fats'.

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Postby Wd40 » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 10:21 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:
Ok, here's another term used here at restaurants: "Take away" instead of "to go."


You will laugh if you find out what we use in India for "Take away". We call it "parcel"

Also for convertible cars we call "Topless". Not that there are many Topless cars in India :lol:

Erazers are referred to as "Rubber" in India and "xerox" is used for photocopy :)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 10 Aug 2013 11:04 pm

Actually, you will find that xerox has been adopted as description for photocopy for quite some time. You will find it in both English AND American dictionaries. And Topless fashions aren't for those that are..... :wink:

Obviously, that isn't the case in India though! :cool:

NB: the term rubber is used here in Singapore as well by the school children.


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