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Wednesday, February 08, 2006 

Bugging me lately

For some reason, I'm feeling extremely dismayed over a few things that I've read the past couple of days.

I pay subscription for this magazine. The previous issue had about three variations of spelling GretagMacbeth. Granted, it's a bitch to spell. But it's almost criminal to review a product (as well as feature a paid advertorial for the said product) and get the name wrong. I let it go.

Then came the current issue. Nearly every page featured a grammar or spelling mistake. Now, bloggers have been accused of this. Come to think of it, we've been accused of a lot worse.

Anyway, what about PHOTOVIDEOi? I paid good money for the magazine. I EXPECT decent sentences and spelling. One mistake? Fine. Two? Still acceptable. One on almost every page? Tell you what... I'll be editor for an issue.

Sample from PHOTOVIDEOi. Avert your eyes if you're a stickler for grammar.

Nikons offer a one size fits all lens for entry level DSLRs
Today, you can buy dCompacts with huge lens movements from wide angle up to super telephoto but for new and existing DSLR users, especially those who just want one or two lenses to cover all occasions, we have always had to buy two different zoom lenses; an 18-55 and an 80-200. Now Nikon have launched the AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, that is a compact, lightweight (560g) 11.1x zoom lens ideal for everyday photography and yet it incorporates advanced features such as Nikon ED glass, SWM (Silent Wave Motor) and enhanced VR (Vibration Reduction). This lens offers users the remarkable 18-200mm focal length range, which conveniently covers everything you need to shoot wide angle landscapes and family photos up to tight portrait and sports shots. (The picture angle is equivalent to a 27-300mm lens in 35mm format.)

Update: I visited the Nikon website, just before publishing this post, to check if PHOTOVIDEOi at least got their facts right. Instead, I found part of the reason for the horrible writing: Nikon's website isn't the paragon of English language either. The PHOTOVIDEOi contributor copied and pasted certain bits, adding other equally unpalatable bits of his/her own. Two negatives don't make a positive.

This just reminded me of Nikon's equally horrific Focus newsletter. How the respective editors of PHOTOVIDEOi and Focus dare call themselves Editor, I haven't the faintest.

Bastardizing English?
Then came a post about bastardizing English. Yes, we Asian. We cannot speak-ee English. We influence by Amelican culture. "Your England velly the powderful," a certain Ah Beng would say. But...

Asian "ESL" Girl 1 Canadian English Expert 0

Side note: This 's' and 'z' thing. I use 'z' in words like bastardize, and I keep it consistent unless a particular publication requires me to do otherwise. Hey, this is my blog, I set the rules!

I've read lots in the course of my studies, and it seems that no one can definitively point to which spelling I should use. I've always thought using 's' in cases like this was a British English thing but I've read British/Australian sources which use 'z'. I may be mistaken. At least, I am aware of the issue.

Disheartened Part One
Eisen Ho then attempted to make my day. Make my day very bad, that is.

There's ignorance. There's nonchalance. And there's Eisen. If there was such a being as an anti-environmentalist, Eisen is number one. But hey, he has a sense of humour:

We are also mostly 'immune' to reports of environmental destruction now, because we are taught to take everything with a (large) pinch of salt...

Emphasis added. Hahahahah! C'mon, Eisen. You don't want to save the earth, fine. You want the Gahmen to prod you to do so, also fine. You accuse the education system of teaching you to take things with a pinch of salt? Here I am, thinking that our education system deals with absolute truths. Thanks for enlightening me.

I should stop reading the newspapers in the morning.

Disheartened Part Two

On tomorrow.sg, I read about this sad development.

I've passed by the Esplanade concourse many times. I've seen the teenagers there, doing their thing. It was 'their' place. Not any more. In all probability, someone saw fit to comprain. So, no more wheeled activities in the concourse.

This is probably a mere warning shot. Wheeled activities or not, I think someone just frowns on the groups' presence there.

Damn bloody ironic, I tell you, especially if the Esplanade owns the space. I'm not sure. It could be a public walkway, public property.

Nevertheless, the kids enjoyed being themselves, pursuing their interests, arguably adding to a vibrant cultural landscape. To think that the Durian Suits may have been the ones who saw it fit to stink them out of the place.

I'm no skateboarder. I'm no inline skater. I'm no hip-hop dancer. But I never begrudged these kids of their pastimes, their passions, their use of the public(?) space (read the bit about the breakdance competition).

Perhaps, I should stop reading blogs too.


Apologies to all my faithful readers for this black hole of pessimism. I was so distressed about PHOTOVIDEOi, Bastardizing English and Disheartened Part One the other day that it showed on my face. My manager actually noticed there was something wrong and she emailed me to ask what was bothering me.

So, I end on a positive note. Thank God I have a terrific supervisor.


Don't know about PHOTOVIDEOi, but I read The One About Sniggering, and burst out laughing when I read your comment.

Yes, the whole British/American/Singapore/Australian spelling can be very confusing. But I've always gone along the same vein as you - as long as you're consistent with the type of spelling, it can't technically be a typo error.

HOWEVER, not so now with the new job and the whole Corporate Spelling/Style guide I have to adhere to. Booooring...

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