Monday, February 22, 2010

To Slang It or Forget It

Ever since the starting of this blog I have been using a lot of uniquely Singaporean slang, from vulgar hokkien peng slang (sibeh jiatlat, KNNBCCB!, etc.) to street Malay (tahan, saman, etc.).

This is probably the distinguishing factor that you would experience from my blog as compared to other Singaporean blogs on biking. Everyone else speaks perfect English, at least for the most part, unlike my blog whereby every post is littered with street language. That probably is the most unique aspect of the Singaporean persona: that we speak some form of warped English - "Singlish", so called. Singlish, as it is, is merely using the Queen's English as a datum to judge how Singaporeans speak, which is why back in the late 90's and early 00's there was a campaign to get rid of it, with its reign of terror kicking Phua Chu Kang out of work, but I digress. My reason for writing in such language, to an unknown effectiveness, is to emphasise that this blog is based, formulated and produced in Singapore by Singaporeans - no foreign-talentism here (ah-ha - xenophobia a la Singaporean) !

The question is: does such slang enhance the experience or does it makes it more distasteful? I do understand that Hokkien slang is one of the most crude around, and can be rather insulting if taken literally. More notably, Singaporean slang which makes it difficult for foreigners to interpret the message. I'm sure if you asked your FT colleague what "sibeh dulan" means, they can only give you the WTF face.

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