Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Departmental Store

Singapore English (especially Singapore Colloquial English, or Singlish) is often thought to be shorter and sweeter than Standard English, but this is not always the case.

As this example, seen in a shopping mall in Singapore, shows, the Standard English term, department store (which has its own entry in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary), is in fact shorter than the Singapore English equivalent, departmental store.

For a discussion of departmental store in Singapore English, see Adam Brown’s Singapore English in a Nutshell: An Alphabetical Description of its Features (Federal, 1999) or English Language Myths: Thirty Beliefs that Aren’t Really True (McGraw-Hill, 2006).


Ritu Jain said...

Is that right Ludwig? Since the word 'department' is an adjective for the kind of store, what purpose does 'departmental' serve? Is that an adjective too - and is this an acceptable use of the word?

Ludwig Tan said...

Hi, Ritu. The word 'department' is a noun, and describes the type of store, i.e. one that has departments. 'Departmental' is an adjective that means 'connected with a department', e.g. 'departmental supervisor' (supervisor connected with a department). So, a 'departmental store' would be odd, because it would describe a store that is connected with a department.