Channel NewsAsia – Speak Good English Movement wants S’poreans to speak grammatically correct English

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This is fascinating stuff with relation to the prescriptivist/descriptivist debate. (I prefer to think of that less as a debate than a continuum: I am both a descriptivist and a prescriptivist, depending on context).

It’s also interesting when looking at the issue of globalisation within language change. It is often assumed (Y13 English Language students at McAuley may remember Alex suggesting this the other day) that global media such as the internet will result in the English language becoming one standardised global language. Clearly some of these Singaporeans think that their variety of English (Singlish) is becoming so different from ‘Standard English’ that it is a problem that needs formally addressing.

Can you imagine signs in McDonalds or Subway exhorting you to “use proper English”? I guess they’d need to start with the staff 😉

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