FLAVORS OF SPOKEN ENGLISH

“Please borrow me $500.” This statement is made with a straight face. I am not sure what to make of this.

Quite common with Chinese speaking the English language.  Is this person asking you to borrow him or her for $500? What do you think?

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“Give I books”, the boy said to his elder brother.

Their father heard the boys’ conversation. He immediately interjected and said that was not proper English. He asked the younger son to correct his earlier sentence.

The younger boy rephrased the sentence to his elder brother, “Give I the books”; while his father listened on.

The father got a bit flustered and told his younger son that his sentence was still wrong. He said the correct grammar and construction of the sentence should be, “Please, give I the books”!

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The English language amuses me. The way it is spoken has an art to it. Though I am no master of the language, nor any other language for that matter; who is to say what is right and what is wrong.

It is true that we have to follow or it is necessary to follow a system that has been agreed upon by organizations, societies, etc. Who appointed these organizations to be the vanguards (a word that seems quite out of place in today’s English language world?

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In Malaysia, you will hear “lah”, “meh”, “lor” “hi meh”, “aa – cha”, “got meh?”, that may be accompanied by a smile, frown, surprise (both eyelids raised), confusion (one eyelid raised in a questioning way); – all this part of the English language in Malaysia – unique to Malaysia.

“Aa-cha” (Spelt according to how it sound like. Not sure if I’ve got the spelling correct) usually comes with a unique head wobble or movement. From the video below, “The Indian Head Wobble Explained”; can you figure out which head wobble comes with it?

It needs a bit of practise to head wobble naturally.

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In England, it is “Whoa-ar?”, more like “whor-or-or?” One would think that the English language came from England. Then you hear “Cor blimey!” and actually began to wonder. Eh?

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“Yea”, the English, don’t really know how, to speak English. “Yea”, “Yea” I agree this is common with, we Aussies. That is Australian just in case, you weren’t sure. “Yea”.

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In the U.S., it is common to hear “gotta”, “gonna”, Hummer, tuna, like, like, like. Oops! I am getting carried away with the tune from the song “Mambo No. 5”.

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Then, there is English from Alan Ian Atkinson. “Oh really!”, Watch out for the “!” exclamation mark with my left eyebrow raised higher than my right. Funny, I can’t raise my right eyebrow higher than my left. Oh really!(?)

And yes, I can head wobble quite naturally, too. “Oh really?”

The punctuations determine the meaning of the “oh really” that comes immediately after a sentence.

Pinterest

There is so much more this common, almost universal language, English, has to offer. I have barely scratched the surface. Whor-or-or? (what?)!

Should I do more of spoken English in a future article? Perhaps. Head wobbling, with my left eyebrow raised, at the same time lowering my right eyebrow a bit, and smiling, as the thought crossed my mind. Capital idea!

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