It’s only words…

Language changes with time despite the fact that purists would insist on the conventional structures and archaic vocabulary.  There is this joke about St Peter.  Keeping vigil at the gates of Heaven as usual, he heard a knock on the door.

“Who goes there?” he asked.

“It is I,” the voice outside replied.

“Oh no!” St Peter groaned,. “Not another English teacher!”

People have been saying, “It’s me,” for so long that it is generally accepted and no longer considered as being grammatically incorrect, though some people (English teachers?) may not agree.

In the same way, some words seem to have acquired new meanings along that way. In the past, if a person remained “cool“, he was calm, or the word was used to describe the temperature in the vicinity. Today, if I say, “He’s cool!”, he is probably nice, interesting, fashionable, trendy or something along those lines. During my time, we used the word “groovy” – a word that evolved during the hippie/flower power era in the 70s.

Besides, some words have frequently been abused to the extent that one would have to use them with caution for out of context, they may bring to mind some not-very-desirable connotations.  Thus when Little Red Riding Hood said, “What big teeth/jaws you have, grandma!” and the wolf replied, “All the better to EAT you with,” the meaning conjured in some individuals’ minds may be different from what is originally intended. So when Bongkersz was in town, I was careful enough not ask to him, “Now, what would YOU like to EAT???” Instead, I suggested, “Would you like some Foochow fried noodles with freshwater prawns for breakfast?” Phew! That was close! ROTFLMAO!!!

I remember when the tiny sultanate attained independence from British colonial rule, the headline on the front page of a local newspaper read: “Brunei goes gay!!!” Of course, the reference was to the happy, joyous celebrations held at the time but today, the word has been associated with something totally different. And when someone talks about the Queen of England, one can never be sure whether he means Elizabeth the 2nd or Sir Elton John, and likewise, if you tell people you are going to a fancy dress party as a fairy, one will wonder if you have a magic wand in hand…or you have a fetish for one! Catch the drift?

And those of you who love croaking, oops…I mean, karaoke-ing, especially if you are a guy and love the Carpenters (Yup! Cibol and gang! Bet you all know one such person? LOL!), avoid “Jambalaya” at all cost, as the lyrics go:

“Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be GAY-o! Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!”

P.S.: And you can ask your Foochow-speaking friend what “Ba-You” means in the dialect. LOL!!!

My first tag…

Gosh…I’ve barely started and now I’ve been tagged, thanks to some unpretentious individual!!! Thank God it’s a simple one and not one of those with very awkward questions. So, Man-D, here goes…

~~Begin Copy~~

This is the easy way and the fastest way to :
1. Make your Authority Technorati explode
2. Increase your Google Page Rank.
3. Get more traffic to your blog.
4. Make more new friends.

Rules :
1. Start copy from “Begin Copy” until “End Copy” to your blog.
2. Put your own blog name and link.
3. Tag your friends as much as you can.

Picturing of Life
Juliana’s Site
Shower Your Children With Love – The Right Way
Life’s a journey, not a destination
Simple Life
Life is beautiful; Life is love
Lovely Mummy
Lemonjude
Faith,Hope,Love
Newife Blog
Good things in life…
…the Guru-Guru life…
ezooone@seweng
Emelda
Unpretentious Me

Sense & Senility

~~ End Copy ~~

Like dat? Oops…mine not linked! Never mind! If u are reading this, u are already in my blog! Wakakakakakaka!!!! And I’m nice guy, don’t wanna tag anybody (Truth is dunno how! ROTFLMAO!!)

Update: Hooray!!! Linked already!!!! Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks???

Friends…

In my younger years, I had an album by country singer Glen Campbell entitled “Galveston”, a black vinyl LP (long-play record of around 10-12 songs) and my favourites were “Take my hand for awhile” and “Friends”.  The latter’s a spoken/talking song; with the strains of “Danny Boy” in the background, Glen Campbell, instead of singing, recited the lyrics.  The lines may originally be from a poem but I’ve always thought they are very meaningful and hence, I’d like to share them with you… 

Friends are never earned. They are gifts from the loving God and they are precious beyond human evaluation. But you dare not take them for granted or they’ll driift away like smoke and the warmth of their caring will vanish into the chill of the endless nights…

Who is your friend? He’s someone who warms you with a nod or with an unspoken word in hard times when you’re hurting beyond words.

Who is your friend? He’s someone who holds you to his breast and sighs softly into your hair when no other medicine could possibly stop the pain.

A friend is someone who clinks his glass against yours or answers the phone at three in the morning when you’re lost and with a few words of encouragement and concern makes you realize that you’re not really lost at all.

Friends come in both sexes and in all shapes and sizes. The most important thing they have in common is their ability to share with you your most sky splitting joys or your deepest most awesome sorrows …for they are your friends.

To all my friends, this is specially for you. 

Sometimes…

Sometimes, God breaks our soul to save our spirit.

Sometimes, He breaks our heart to make us whole.

Sometimes, He sends us pain so we can be stronger.

Sometimes, He sends us failure so we can be humble.

Sometimes, He sends us illness so we can take better care of ourselves.

Sometimes, He takes everything away from us so we can learn the value of everything we have.

A Blessed Easter to one and all!

High…

Bongkersz posted a video in his blog featuring Lighthouse Family’s HIGH a day or two ago.  I have always liked the band especially the first album, if I’m not mistaken, it was the first, POSTCARD FROM HEAVEN or something and I particularly love the song LOST IN SPACE.  Well, I’m not going to post the video here (Truth betold, I don’t know how!), so if you want to watch, you can go to bongkersz.com or search for it on youtube.

Now, what I am going to share is a story that the title of the song brings to mind.  I had a collection of books by S.H.Tan, but people borrowed from me and did not return, so now I only have one left! @#$%&+#!! I can recall a story in one of them about this Mat Salleh woman who went to a tailor in KL. She wanted to have a dress made.

Now, while the tailor was taking her measurements, she kept telling him, “More high! More high!” Mini skirts were in fashion at the time, you see. But the tailor kept shaking his head and gesturing to indicate the negative.  The woman was furious and started to raise her voice, “MORE HIGH! MORE HIGH!” The poor man had no choice so he obliged and instantly received a slap on his face. A fight ensued…until the police came to the scene to settle the matter.

The tailor told the police everything that had transpired while the Mat Salleh was frantically demanding that justice be done! Finally, everything was sorted out. The police officer explained to the Mat Salleh woman that it was all a misunderstanding. “You see, M’am,” he said, “MORE HIGH in Cantonnese means to touch the private part, so the tailor was merely carrying out your instruction…”

Disclaimer: I don’t know Cantonese and this was what I read in the book, so if MORE HIGH means some other thing, then I will hold no responsibility for that. LOL!!!

After the love has gone…

While browsing, I came across a few teacher-bloggers, and what troubles me most of all is that more often than not, they seem disillusioned and have lost their passion for the vocation.

Why this sad state of affairs, one may ask? Maybe it’s the workload. Maybe it’s the money, the lack of recognition given – especially when other less-deserving ones get what they are craving for or maybe the sense of achievement does not seem to be forthcoming, especially when the students are so weak and are not inclined to learn anything at all.

For one thing, if a teacher is merely going through the motions, teaching for the sake of teaching while waiting for pay day, the students will feel it and they will respond the same way. On the other hand, if a teacher puts his heart and soul in it, the students will sense it and appreciate it, even the weak or ill-disciplined ones. Why do students behave like monkeys in one teacher’s class – despite the endless scolding and caning and yet, they are comparatively much better behaved in another teacher’s class?

Teaching is a relationship – a relationship between teacher and students. Like all relationships, e.g. that of lovers or a husband and wife, what you can get out of it depends on what you put in it. If you can be selfless and look beyond personal comfort and material gains, you will find it more rewarding, that’s for sure.

In another of my English book, I had a passage on two brothers and one of them, a teacher, died…and the last paragraph reads: “…At Tommy’s funeral, there was standing room only in the cathedral – young and old, men and women, all of them his friends and students.  It made me contemplate on the meaning of our existence in this world.  Some people had power, wealth, status; but they often went about their lives in selfish pursuits.  Then there were people like Tommy.  He had none of those – no monuments built in his honour, no titles bestowed, no streets named – nothing but the memory of what he was would remain eternally in everyone’s hearts.  He was their friend, their teacher; he was my brother.

On 2nd December, 2007, I retired. I was 55…and a student sent me an sms which touched me more than anything. It read:

“Students hardly know or guess…the love their teacher can’t express. With thoughts he seldom says aloud, his heart is warm, his feelings proud.  They do not fully understand his wisdom, guiding hand, each helpful word, holding love unspoken, hope unheard.  Yet as the busy years roll past, they come to understand at last, the worries he knew, the problem times he pulled them through and realise how great it’s been to have a teacher just like him.  With love and thanks for being such a wonderful teacher. Happy Birthday.”

The day a teacher receives something like this, he will feel that it is worth all the blood, sweat and tears he has put in his vocation through the years…and he can be proud to call himself – a teacher. I certainly hope this will motivate and inspire those who need it.

It’s just not logical…

…that in the story, “The Hare and the Tortoise”, the arrogant hare that was far ahead in the race decided to go to sleep, allowing the tortoise to overtake him and win the race.

So, when I was writing one of my English practice workbooks for SPM students, I decided to change it as in the extract below.

…”With a clear display of determination, the tortoise edged forward slowly on its way, taking one sluggish step at a time while the hare stayed put at the starting line, buckling over in fits of hysterical laughter at the sight, unable to start running.  Finally, when he was able to pull himself together, he bolted off at lightning speed, but not before the mean streak in him made him kick the poor tortoise out of the way. ‘Step aside, David! Here comes Rabbit Beckham!” he hollered at the top of his voice, giving his opponent one mighty kick that sent him flying into the air.

But as Forrest Gump would say, ‘Life is a box of chocolates;you never know what you’ll get,’ and the tortoise came crashing down on the head of the hare who had the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, knocking himout cold…The tortoise fell onto the ground and by sheer luck and coincidence, rolled straight towards the finishing line.  The animals held their breath in suspense as the tortoise stuck his head and legs out of the shell. Feeling a little airsick after the extremely turbulent flight, the tortoise staggered wobbly forward and crossed the finishing line…”

Now, isn’t that a lot more logical? As a matter of fact, it amazes me that many fairy tales and children’s stories are full of things that do not make sense at all and some are quite violent and frightening even, yet they are so popular worldwide. Would you read them to your children?