Thursday, May 03, 2007

CAUTION : Random Ramblings Not Worth Reading #2

The Holidays

What a fabulous break for everybody and a super long weekend for most! I almost thought that I didn’t have to come to work today.

Didn’t actually do anything much over the weekend, but I did learn a thing or two about a lot of things, and had a little fun along the way. So, that’s all that counts.

Enough of that.


The Old Washing Machine

The view from my office is super-clear today. Good. Perhaps it won’t rain and all my kain baju can dry out just nicely. Did my laundry last night; a total of 5 loads. My old washing machine was working overtime, I think I heard a loud crank sometime towards the end –oh no!

The last time a household appliance bailed out on me, it was the good ol’ fridge. The freezer compartment was not freezing things anymore, water was constantly dripping out, and the whole fridge stank big time. So I replaced that one with a nice new fridge which I immediately filled up with all things frozen; frozen pizzas, frozen lasagna, frozen roti canai, frozen currypuffs, frozen franks, frozen garlic bread, frozen chicken wings, and a host of other microwaveable things – the mark of ‘rumah bujang’.

That said, I think I could’ve lived without a fridge; after all, McDonalds’ and Pizza Hut’s deliveries are quite prompt and the delivery boys already know me by name. But life without a washing machine is something I can never imagine. I don’t fancy sending my dirty clothes outside of my house let alone let the dobi-man touch it, so I have no choice but to do the laundry myself at home. And that means, I must have a good, reliable washing machine. The loud crank I heard from my washing machine last night was probably an indication that something is about to give way. I better save some money in case it does, lest I start to smell like the cleaners at my office.


Biking

I haven’t been cycling in ages. My old mountain bike is rusting in my backyard. The frame still looks pretty good, but the chains are very rusty and the all the trimmings are badly damaged. I’m thinking of going out biking one of these days, so I have to get my bike in order. I’d have to replace the seat with a better, softer one that doesn’t make my bum sore, the handle grip with a fancy new pair, the chains with new well-oiled one, the gear, the reflector, the mud-guard, the pedals, the brakes, the…

I wonder if it’s cheaper to buy a new bike than to repair this one?


Vocabulary

Sometimes I feel I am sooooooooo blardy stooopid.

Was reading someone’s blog just now and I counted 13 unfamiliar words in his 200 words entry. So, I had to flip the pages of my dictionary (no, actually I just clicked on dictionary.reference.com) 13 times in order to know the meaning.

But at least he wrote his piece pretty darn well, even if he made me feel so small while reading it.

Some writers, as I’ve discovered, seem to have neither a flair for writing, nor a good command of the English language, yet would so often throw in big big words just for added effect. It just doesn’t go too well together. Like Simon Cowell said, “It’s like eating chocolate ice-cream with onion”.

I think I used to have every word in the Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary in my vocabulary, but as years go by I seemed to have been using fancy words and phrases less and less. Now, I think my whole vocabulary has shrunk and is limited to only 9 words.

So, I’m jealous of those people who write so well, and make me check the dictionary 13 times.

But then again, however lousy I feel my English is, I’m sure it’s not half as bad as my boss’. He once buzzed me,

Boss: Eh, Sue… how to spell ver-chi-mel-lee?

Me: Huh? What?

Boss: Ver-chi-mel-lee…. You know…. Bihun?

Me: Oh…. you mean ver-me-sell-lee (also ver-me-chel-lee) ?
V-E-R-M-I-C-E-L-L-I

Boss: Hmmm? That’s what I thought.

Me: *Dalam hati* Yeah, right.

22 comments:

Manal said...

Can i do a sharifah amani?

heck....

Typhoon Sue said...

do a syarifah amani?
like this?

"I sound stupid when I speak in Malay"

but then again, i sound stupid in any language i speak, all 2 of them.

J.T. said...

Hi Sue, I spoke too soon. You do have a new entry. I laughed reading about V-E-R-M-I-C-E-L-L-I.
I am with you on the flair for writing. I don't know how some people do it. Everytime I do an entry, I edit, re-edit, spell check. I get tired when I look too hard for errors. In the end I just settle with - What You See Is What You Get. Jacqui cannot alter herself. Those are my thoughts and words.
Having said that, I like how you write because it is candid.. It is nicer to read something without trying to scramble for a dictionary. The joy of reading is gone. If I have to refer to dictionary then I have gone into study mode. Aiyoo.. hate studying!

A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

vermichelli at least sounded italian.

my part time boss, a dato, called and asked how to spell psychology. i thought it was a trick question.

Typhoon Sue said...

j.t:-
ya la... now we are no longer in study mode, having to refer to a dictionary each time is soooo tiring.

babe:-
and ver-chi-mel-lee sounded like a vietnamese in mumbai.

it's spelled like this, S-A-I-K-O-L-O-J-I
:)

U.Lee said...

Hello Sue, popped over from JT's. Nice blog you have and enjoyed your posts.
Re vocabulary, you're doing well...love your style, light and easy. Especially on the eyes.
Just write or type as how you feel......from your heart.
I still remember what my college lecturer once told me 43 years ago, 'ask yourself first, who you writing to'?
Reading a good post shouldn't be like reading English literature. Right?
Your style as well JT's style is like hearing Frank Sinatra singing...just light and easy.
You have a nice day, Sue. UL.

J.T. said...

Sue, if I may post a comment for U.Lee...

U.Lee, I followed you to Typhoon Sue's blog. Maybe because you are carrying kueh bingka with you. Craving that la. hahaha

Thanks for the compliment about my writing style. The next song in my blog will be dedicated to you - a Frank Sinatra's song :)

Sue, thanks and have a nice dictionary-free day!

Pi Bani said...

Hi there,
Been hopping around (now I feel like a kangaroo!) and landed in your blog.

Hey, no need to use big wordslah. Just write from your heartlah! (now, "lah" is accepted as Malaysian English, no?)

Typhoon Sue said...

u.lee:-
thanks a whole bunch
love that you equate my writing style to sinatra's singing

j.t:-
have a nice dictionary
-free day to u too

pi bani:-
thanks for visiting. do come again.
yes lah! it's msian english at its best.

by the way, read your blog; love what you are doing...

Kak Teh said...

alaaa, why use big words - we want to express not to impress what! as long as the words flow and people understand, no problem.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any real harm in dabbling with new words in one's writing. Experimentation is what differentiates a good writer from a mediocre one. You have to take risks. If not, you won't improve.
Instead of looking at it as a lesson in lowering your self-esteem, you should see it as a lesson in expanding your vocabulary. A new word to learn everyday! Like you wrote, you learnt 13 new words in just one blog. Something to be thankful for.....
Like Simon Cowell said, "Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on."
Can I suggest you take the hand-brake off and simply enjoy the ride?

Lady Patsy said...

Hi Sue, When I was doing my course in journalism, I was given different types of advice by the different lecturers. One told us to impress the readers with bombastic words while another told us to use simple everyday language - don't insult the intelligence of the readers, we were told. I guess I would prefer to read something which was simple and direct to the point and not one which would make me reach out for a dictionary or thesaurus all the time - although this would certainly improve my vocabulary, no doubt!

Typhoon Sue said...

kakteh:
ya la... that has always been my style. i don't write to impress. i just want to express. if you like it, read on. if you don't, feel free to go elsewhere. I'm just a little jealous of some people who can write in very classy english that's all.

anonymous:
are you insinuating that i have low self-esteem? who put that idea in your head? DUH!!!
Read carefully-- I'm just a little jealous of writers who are better than me that's all.
And no, experimentation is NOT what differentiate a good writer from a mediocre one. The flair for writing is. You can experiment all you like or use all sorts of bombastic words all the time but if you can't string a decent sentence together that will capture the imagination of your readers from the first verse, then you are better off writing in your diary where nobody but yourself will read it.

I don't write to impress, I don't write to challenge anyone, I just write what I feel and what I think, and for that I have already been enjoying the ride all these while. What hand-brake nonsense are you talking about?

P/S: if you have any self-esteem at all yourself, you wouldn't hide under the cloak of anonymity.

Lady Patsy:
I agree with you. If you write for people to read, it's better to stick to simple everyday words. You can throw in a big one every now and then but not too much. Otherwise it will sound a tad pretentious. What I was complaining about in my post was people who don't write well but insist on using big words all the time. Their writing sound so pretentious it made me throw up.

J.T. said...

You go girl! I like what you said to "Anonymous". If he/she had any self-esteem, he/she would not hide under the cloak of anonymity.

Go ahead Typhoon Sue, write to express. You have my support and encouragement.

Typhoon Sue said...

thanks j.t.

the kimster said...

Typhoon Sue:
The main purpose of writing is to communicate. Huge vocabs don't matter. Clarity matters. As it is, you're already doing a damn good job.

As for the person who wrote "13 unfamiliar words in his 200 words entry" and made you "flip the pages of my dictionary 13 times", we should all unite and try to poison him/her or something.

Typhoon Sue said...

kimster..., that's so nice of you to say. thank you.

yes, let's poison the bugger.

poisoned said...

this is getting out of hand... why resort to "poisoning" and other militant tactics ... that goes beyond being "just a bit jealous"...

why can't we just get along?
as the saying goes,
"Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story”"

Typhoon Sue said...

poisoned:

Oh shut up or I'll poison u too. But wait, u're already poisoned, hahahaha!

sadly poisoned by sue said...

typhoon sue, i was your blog's fan.. as i see you write very well, insightful and funny... now sadly, i see you can also be extremely biased, and cruel... too bad, what a waste of talent...

Sincerely,

Sue's Fan No More...

Typhoon Sue said...

sadly poisoned by sue:

am i supposed to cry for losing u as a 'fan'? Huh?

extremely biased and cruel? To whom, u? Oh, i have to put u up on a pedestal izzit?

Too bad u don't have a sense of humour.

Typhoon Sue said...

and oh, nice to make your acquaintance, theta.....

;)