American vs British English in Singapore
Posted: 17 December 2011 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3149
Joined  2007-02-26

I’ve mentioned before that on English speaking radio in Singapore, some professionals go for something akin to RP (but with the vowels a little bit different from RP). Others go for Standard American. Still others use a kind of hybrid: basically RP but with final rs pronounced, which sounds very peculiar to my ears. e.g. doctor rendered as [doktr] rather than [dɑktr] or [doktə]. Sorry that’s not proper IPA, I’m sure you see what I mean.

Today I heard an radio ad for ANZ bank, and one speaker called it ANzed, and the other called it ANzee.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 March 2013 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3149
Joined  2007-02-26

Speaking on zeds…

All of the local Singaporeans pronounce pizza as, well, pizza.

ie, /pɪzɑː/

Makes sense but it makes me smile.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2013 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3149
Joined  2007-02-26

I’ve also noticed that printed advertisements in Singapore sometimes use “colour” etc and sometimes “color” etc, sometimes even within the same publication.

I am finding that the usage of and/or in the negative can be, to my mind, irregular here.

Couple of examples:

There is a recorded announcment at the train stations, saying, “Eating or drinking is not allowed on stations and trains.” I would say, “Eating and drinking are not allowed on stations and trains.”

Similarly, there’s a TV spot for a local syrup which says that the product “does not contain preservatives and artificial colours”. I would say “does not contain preservative or artificial colours.”

Then again, maybe I am the weirdo.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2013 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1297
Joined  2007-03-21
OP Tipping - 29 March 2013 03:50 AM

I am finding that the usage of and/or in the negative can be, to my mind, irregular here.

Couple of examples:

There is a recorded announcment at the train stations, saying, “Eating or drinking is not allowed on stations and trains.” I would say, “Eating and drinking are not allowed on stations and trains.”

Similarly, there’s a TV spot for a local syrup which says that the product “does not contain preservatives and artificial colours”. I would say “does not contain preservative or artificial colours.”

Then again, maybe I am the weirdo.

sounds like a bad case of conjunctivitis to me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2013 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2032
Joined  2007-02-19

there’s a TV spot for a local syrup which says that the product “does not contain preservatives.......

To my late friend Gilbert (who grew up in Karachi, many years ago), that statement would have meant “this syrup is condom-free”. I don’t know how widespread the term preservative is for a condom: I’ve never heard it from anyone else.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2013 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1297
Joined  2007-03-21

I don’t know how widespread the term preservative is for a condom: I’ve never heard it from anyone else.

That’s the word Germans use. das Präservativ. But they also use Kondom. And the machine that dispenses same is a Kondomat!

edit: Spanish, French, Polish, Russian as well.

[ Edited: 29 March 2013 08:50 AM by Oecolampadius ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2013 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2032
Joined  2007-02-19

Thanks, Oeco. Where I grew up, a condom was called condón . I don’t speak any of the other languages you mention.

Query: could a country that enforces birth control be called a kondominion? --- and contrariwise, one that condemns it, a kondominimum ?

;-)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2013 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3149
Joined  2007-02-26

Pretty sure the syrup was quandong-free.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 August 2014 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3149
Joined  2007-02-26

I believe that the double comparative is not just common in Singlish, but standard. It would be rare to hear a bona fide Singaporean say “better” rather than “more better” in casual speech.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 August 2014 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  345
Joined  2007-02-17
OP Tipping - 29 March 2013 03:50 AM

I am finding that the usage of and/or in the negative can be, to my mind, irregular here.

Couple of examples:

There is a recorded announcment at the train stations, saying, “Eating or drinking is not allowed on stations and trains.” I would say, “Eating and drinking are not allowed on stations and trains.”

The ‘or’ form is strictly speaking more logical. But for some mysterious reason it’s not only unidiomatic, but highly irritating.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2014 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4809
Joined  2007-01-03

I would think that’s because eating and drinking has been lexicalized into one one unit. We treat the phrase as a fixed block of text.

But then, “there will be no eating or drinking on trains” sounds more natural to my ear. So I’m not sure what to think.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2014 05:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  22
Joined  2014-08-07

Aren’t we getting into legal territory here?  Assuming a hungry person was charged by the law for eating and drinking, that person’s lawyer might reasonably argue that his client was simply eating and not drinking and, therefore not guilty of transgressing.  Whereas, eating or drinking closes that loophole.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2014 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3149
Joined  2007-02-26

On the other hand if they said “eating or drinking is not allowed”, then the lawyer could say “we knew either eating was not allowed or drinking was not allowed, but we didn’t know which one...”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 August 2014 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2860
Joined  2007-01-31

I have had occasion to edit quite a few manuscripts by Japanese and Chinese scientists, and I have observed that their handling of conjunctions with negations does not match the normal handling in English. (I guess that his reflects the logical structure of their native languages, but I don’t know enough to do more than guess.)

To give a specific, but simplified, example, a native English* speaker considers no salt or pepper to be synonymous with no salt and no pepper, and would typically consider the former the more natural expression of the idea.  (This also conforms to Boolean logic, if you understand that no salt or pepper is to be parsed as no (salt or pepper), not (no salt) or (pepper).  In my experience, Japanese and Chinese authors tend to write no salt and pepper, which seems to leave open the possibility of salt or pepper but not both, as well as the intended sense of “neither salt nor pepper”.

(*I mean a native western English speaker: it’s possible that in Singaporean English things are different.)

[Edit: I realize that, in the fictitious example I used, “salt and pepper” could be considered as a lexical unit, which could affect the interpretation, but this issue comes up with combinations that definitely aren’t lexical units, e.g. “phenol red and serum” or “trastuzumab and anthracycline”.]

[ Edited: 16 August 2014 10:04 AM by Dr. Techie ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 August 2014 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  468
Joined  2007-10-20

The ‘or’ form is strictly speaking more logical. But for some mysterious reason it’s not only unidiomatic, but highly irritating.

As Doctor T suggest, there are those things that always go together. In English (and maybe other languages), pairing has been traditionally important: we have “both” and “neither” to testify to this. Also, “whether” used to mean, I believe but could well be wrong, something like “which of two,” so that at least a few English speakers feel compelled to say “whether or not it’s true” instead of “whether it’s true.” Was there even a verb conjugation in IEP based on pairs ...? My mind is highly unreliable at times.

As Kurwamac suggests, I’d be inclined to say, “no peanut butter and jelly” if I were speaking casually, but would say “neither peanut butter nor jelly” if I were speaking formally or being very specific to the fact that
neither of the required elements of the accompaniment to bread was available.

I would say, “Eating and drinking are not allowed on stations and trains.”

So I wonder if this is because of two alternatives: in English it is normal to say “Both eating and drinking are not allowed ...” and “Neither eating nor drinking is allowed ...” These forms influence me to think that “eating or drinking is not allowed ...” sounds awkward, even though I can’t think of any logical reason for it.

-----------------------------

Wait a minute, there’s a discrepancy between Dr. T and Kurwamac. I’ll just say that if I put the negative in front of the pair I’d probably say: No eating or drinking on the train.” Putting the negative after I’d say “Eating and drinking are not allowed on the train.”

[ Edited: 16 August 2014 06:06 PM by Iron Pyrite ]
Profile