Saturday, January 14, 2006

words

See I'm all about them words
Over numbers, unencumbered numbered words
Hundreds of pages, pages, pages forwards
More words then I had ever heard and I feel so alive
-jason mraz

You know your brain is chilling out somewhere in the backseat when you rely on fluffy pop songs to encapsulate your life. (and is so small you can't really see it in the rearview mirror)

so.

I just realised that after my initial culture shock of aussie-isms those many years ago (see you later? But I'm never going to see you again!) I'm now going through cultural retraining with Singaporeans.

Just like how "see you later" used to piss the shit out of me when I first arrived, Singaporean usage of everyday English words drives me absolutely bananas- my pet hate being "Correct" (occasionally pronounced "corright")

Technically, the word correct in Singaporean usage makes perfect sense. It means that it is not a fallacy. Zero faults.

So when you make some random remark when you bump into them in the streets and say "hey weren't you in my class in year 1902?" instead of saying somethings friendly, they'll say something like

"Correct. You're XYZ's friend right???"

or when you're having a perfectly benign conversation, and then someone brings up say...some home truth like the earth is round. or Say...you were discussing U2's upcoming concert and said "Rumour has it Bono is not going to wear his sunnies" or something like that, they'd say "Yah, correct! and then blah blah blah"

ARGHHH. FRUSTRATION!!!!!

I don't care if I'm correct or not about the rumour, and if I'm telling people the earth is almost certainly round, I don't need some schoolmarm to jump in and say "Yah, correct" not to mention they then hijack the conversation after making "correct" statements. I feel so patronised!

I mean, they were SO MANY OTHER THINGS to say. if they'd cut out the dammable "yah correct" I'd be so much more willing for them to open their mouths without a baseball bat in my hand. I mean imagine...

"rumour has it Bono blah blah"

"yeah! I heard that too! blah blah blah"

At this stage, I DON'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS what you change the subject to. The price of eggs even! It's so much less confronting!

ok. how about

"rumour has it Bono blah blah blah"

"hmmm, but then I heard...."

The underlying problem seems to be that any statement I make is turned into a validating one. Everything I say has to be sanctioned.

"The tram inspectors sometimes dress in plainclothes"

"Yeah correct!"

I DON'T NEED YOUR VALIDATION!!!! in fact I feel patronised!!!!

and it's such a reflection of the culture. everything sanctioned, the herd mentality, the usage bearing a strong resemblance to a classroom in a country where academic grades reign supreme.

In fact, I've noticed it's a more "guy word" to use. Not many girls seem to use it, and there it is...reflection of a chauvanistic society on top of it all.

I once read a research article about chauvanistic values in Asian countries..and how it differs from traditional western chauvanism per se, and how it differs yet again from Mediterranian cultures and Middle eastern ones, and religious ones are different yet again.

What struck me was the country by country breakdown.

In the survey, Singapore was the ONLY COUNTRY in Asia where the men expect the women not only to cook and clean, but to also hold down a full time job.

we are reflection of our times, our cultures. and sometimes, the usage of the word "correct" just plain freaks me out, because it means so much more.

Listening to: 80s pop shmaltz

8 comments:

jon said...

I have a dislike for conversations wherein I'm constantly prodded for validation. And it happens a lot. I expect the person with whom I'm speaking to have an opinion, stand by it, tell me what they think. I'll either agree or disagree. But stop asking me at the end of every paragraph, "Don't you think?" in an effort to seek validation. It's a source of major frustration.

C said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA i'd forgotten all about "correct!" It's been years since anyone's said it to me in that particular singalander way, not that i actually got it too much to begin with. How did this correct thing come about anyway? Any ideas?

Loon said...

korract

Anonymous said...

Thanks crazy lady
ktw

offkilter said...

Singaporean men like to presume/assume/know that as a woman (thus an inferior being - fallacious assumption [I tire of having to be so literal, but just in case the sarcasm flies above some heads]) would appreciate and be ever so grateful that they are affirming your cutesy little observation about Bono.
Revolting hor?

At the end of the day, they not only want a woman that can cook clean and hold a full-time job, the woman must be able to cook and clean (But not as well as his mum), hold down a good enough full-time job (but not earn more than him) and never ever be smarter than him, lest his fragile ego takes a beating and his nether parts start to shrivel or implode.

Yes I sound like a misandrist. You aren't wrong, this place and its herd of narrow-minded lemmings born in conditions lacking oxygen make me so.

Myst: I might have a way out of this place, and no it does not involve a spoon nicked from Qantas.

Anonymous said...

ryc on xanga:

There were feathers ruffled amongst the Koreans when the two American Korean actors couldn't speak Korean properly on the show and with an American accent to boot. It is understandable given that their characters were meant to be local Koreans.

Fongster8

bernardalbrecht said...

yah, correct...speaking of mraz, my 3 house mates like him and it drives me nuts.

Joshua said...

Thank you for this article, really useful material.
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