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Funny English Language : English As It Is Spoken
English is funny, pidgin English is funnier
I think this applies to all languages. There are always exceptions to the rule in grammar and pronunciation. One perculiar advantage of the English language is that intonation is not of utmost importance. So English can be spoken with funny accent.
Then what about Pidgin English? Countries like Papua New Guinea and Hawaii are famous for it. Actually, Pidgin English was first recognized in China, first spoken in Macao and Guangzhou in the 17th century. A pidgin language is a simplified form of communication that develops as a means to communicate between two or more groups of people who do not share a common language. Even today many Chinese pidgin English terms are still used. I use them frequently too!
Take for examples:
"long time no see" : "haven't seen you for a long time."
"lose face" : "bring shame"
"no can do" : "unable to do"
"look see, look see" : "just browsing through"
What about Pidgin English in Papua New Guinea? "Tok pisin" that is. Meaning, "Talking Pidgin." This is the opening line in The Lord's Prayer:
"Papa bilong mipela, Yu stap long heven."
"Our father, who art in heaven."
Now come the Hawaiian Style:
" Michael stay one pake or wot?"
" Do you know whether or not Michael is Chinese?"
What about colloquial English?
Colloquial English is slightly different. Countries like Malaysia and Singapore are two examples. We call them Manglish ( for Malaysia) and Singlish (for Singapore). Both are actually similar. The most audible characteristic is the addition of the suffix "lah."
Being a Malaysian, I too speak like that-lah!
The other tell-tale sign is of course the accent of a colloquail English. The Malaysian and Singaporean versions are with very "flat" intonation, without much aspiration.
The most melodious of all colloquail English, to me is the Indian version.
To add to the confusion
This is credit from an "anonymous" sender:
We’ll begin with box; the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, and two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose is never called meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a house full of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
The plural of man is always men,
But the plural of pan is never pen.
If I speak of a foot, and you show me two feet,
And I give you a book, would a pair be beek?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t two booths be called beeth?
If a singular’s is this and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss be ever called kese?
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine…she, shis and shim!
More confusion will be added in due course:
Add "break" to "fast" is not pronounced as break-fast, but "brekfirst".
Plural for "hundred" is "hundreds". But when you say two hundred, there is no "s", and likewise "thousand" and "million".
Sink, sank, sunk; but not think, thank, thunk.
There is no egg in eggplant; neither ham in hamburger, nor apple or pine in pineapple
Boxing ring is not round but square.
Guinea pig is not from Guinea nor a pig.
Vegetarian eats vegetables, then humanitarians should humans!
We ship by truck and send cargo by ship.
We have running noses and smelly feet.
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be similar?
We fill in a form by filling it out.
An alarm is set when it is on, and triggers by going off.
Why God bless, and not "blesses"?
English as spoken by the Queen.
Now the best part is to consider the "Authentic" English as spoken by the Queen.
- The Bandage was wound around the wound.
- The farm was used to produce produce.
- The dump site was full, so it has to refuse more refuse.
- The Englishman decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
- Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was best to present the present.
- There was a row amongst the rowers on how to row.
- On seeing a tear in the document, I shed a tear.
- The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
Now let's see how you can comment in Good English!
And How About This One?
What about personal names in English
Different cultures name their children in different ways. The Hindus favor the names of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, by giving their children, names like Arumugam, Subramaniam, and Saraswati. The Muslims' favorite name is Mohammad, spelt in different ways. The Chinese give their girls, names like flower, jade, pearl, and moon; while the boys will be called names like mountain, luck, prosperity and dragon.
The English speaking world also has its fair share of naming ideas. I have written the following articles which you may be interested to read.
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