Monday, February 25, 2008

Bad Grammar

‘Stomp editor Serene Siew said everyone could play a part in identifying and highlighting poor usage of English. She added: “It satisfies our innate curiosity to correct faux pas by well- known [sic] establishments, which are supposed to have vetted their documents and posters beforehand” (Straits Times, 30 August 2007).

Erm, isn’t the Straits Times a ‘well-known establishment’ … or are they simply exempt from having to correct their own faux pas (of which there are countless, as copiously identified and highlighted in this blog)?

Compare the following subheading (ST Life!, 3 October 2007), where the obviously well-educated sub-editor fails to understand that unwelcome (not unwelcomed) is the usual adjectival form …


… with this banner hanging outside a coffee shop in Jurong West — hardly a ‘well-known establishment’ by any stretch of the imagination — written in perfectly grammatical English by someone who knows that the correct adjectival forms are open and welcome (not opened and welcomed):

Does the ST have higher editorial standards than our Jurong West coffee shop ... and should it be publishing a guide to good English? You decide.

2 comments:

JL said...

I racked my brains on this one- At first I thought that 'unwelcomed guests' was a movie (which idiotic, grammatically handicapped director would ever name a movie with such an obvious flaw), but after a search on Google, I found out that in fact, such a movie DOESN'T exist.

Thank God. The Grammar Nazi in me is appeased.

Then I realised that the sentence in that excerpt meant to say that the subject of the 2 movies was about unwelcome guests instead.

The power of grammatical errors. Annoying, isn't it? Instead of getting one's point across, it makes the reader question it instead.

How are we going to enjoy our reading then?

Someone tell Mr Douglas Tseng that it should be read:

"Unwelcome guests- the subject of two frighteningly similar thrillers"

Sigh.

The Grammar Terrorist said...

Isn't it ironic that a Jurong West coffee shop gets it right, but ST doesn't?

If they're looking for examples of errors, they can find more than enough within their own pages to fill a book, instead of mocking easy targets -- people who aren't expected to know better.