Friday, 8 July 2011

Grammar & Pronunciation Police Reporting for Duty! : Common Mistakes We Make in Grammar & Pronunciation

This is the Grammar & Pronunciation Police! You are under arrest for violating laws of grammar and pronunciation !

Okay, although my English is not that 'fantastisch'. I do notice some common grammatical and pronunciation error often made by us Malaysians. To avoid confusion and to avoid being misunderstood by the rest of the world, it is best to avoid these boo-boos:

I) Saying "that's mean" instead of "that means"

"That's mean" is just improper, son!  "That's" is a contraction of "that" and "is"
So, if you say "Looks like our internet connection has been down since morning. That's mean we can go back home early", it just doesn't make sense! You are practically saying "That is mean we can go back home early" Does it make sense to you? NO.

So use "that means" whenever you are explaining a conclusion or result of something.

II) Using "photostat" instead of "photocopy"

Although the name "photostat" does exist because it is the name of the earlier version of the copy machine created in the 1900s, the term is rarely used now except in Malaysia. So instead of, "Mat, can you photostat this document for me?", say "John, can you photocopy this document for me?" or to make it simpler, "Can you make a copy of this document for me?"  Eh? Suka-suka kau je tukar nama, kan? Kejap Mat, kejap John.

III) Using "chop" instead of "stamp"

"Chop" is likely to have it's roots back in India where the stamp or seal is called "chaap". Although this makes sense, most of the English-speaking world would normally use "stamp" instead, for the verb as well as the noun.

You know the difference.

III) Pronouncing the word "flour" as "flaaaaaaaaaaaahhh"

It should be pronounced as in "flower".

Know the difference, excuse the ugly mugs.

IV) Saying "poem" as "poyem"

Apa poyem-poyem? It should be like somewhere between "pom" and "powem". Sounds almost one-syllable. You get the idea.

Poyolah "poyem-poyem"!

Well, that's it for today's lesson. If you like them or hate them, do give us a feedback. Thank you.

Oh, chicken chop photo credit to!


  1. "That's mean" tu yang aku kelakar. basic grammar tu. satu lagi, ko kena ajar macam mana nak sebut perkataan yang ada 'th' macam 'this', 'that', 'those' whatsoever. biasanya orang kita susah nak praktikkan.

  2. Haha best! even english aku pun tak la bagus sgt tapi stil boleh beza nak guna that's mean and that means. paling pening baca status kat FB. Sume guna english tapi tunggang langgang.

  3. hehehehe, semua betul :)

    " mana cop saya?"

    " chop? chop mana ade Encik, Stamp ade la"

    " Setem opah kau, aku nak cop la, meh sini dahi kau aku nak cop sikit"

    *** john garu2 kepala...

  4. pronounciation flour tu memang sebut flower eh? bukan flaah?

  5. jombuatbookreview8 July 2011 at 21:16

    flour (flower)and poem (pom) tu american pronunciation kan? i remember my english teacher kat sini bagi i C because dia kata kat sini kita use british english, not american english yaddayadda... bleerrrghhh... great blog btw! golek2 baca entry2 sblum nie. :D

  6. congrates instead of congrats?? seriously annoying man...

  7. @ mitsuo - hahaha. 'the', 'this' 'that', cuba buat macam nak sebut huruf 'tha' bahasa arab tapi bibir hampir2 mcm nak sebut huruf 'v'. you'll come close to that.

    @ iezy - kalau diorg tunggang langgang, ko troll dia balik dengan bagi komen yang lagi tunggang langgang.

    @ zulfikar. hahaha. lepas tu dia cakap balik, " do you want me to chop your head off, encik?"

  8. @ nice stalker - no, thank you. very long day. what is the you?

    @ jombuatbookreview - nope. ckp balik kat cikgu tu, the brits pronounce it as "pom" and "flower" too. Only Retarded English pronounce as "flaaaaaaah" and "Poyyyem". LOL. thanks! keep on reading.

    @ Anonymous 21:20 - yeah, that's another major abuse, man. I might consider placing that in the next series of Grammar & Pronunciation Police. thanks! :)

  9. @ Anonymous 21:00 - yup. flower, not flaaaaaaaaaaaaahh

  10. aku banyak belajar 'th' ni daripada British punya accent, sebab diorang punya pronunciation lebih jelas bagi aku.

  11. hahahahaha....menarik entry ni..Syabas ye Kurt...Paling sukat yg thats mean.. ;)

  12. @ Mr Jon - thank you! keep reading!

  13. @ mitsuo - yorkshire accent paling win!

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