Dr Mumbo

Death by bad English

The straits timesFor those who feel that the best thing about Singapore’s most influential news organ is probably not the written word, there’s a Facebook group for that: The Straits Times writes such shit English that it deserves to die, which Dr Mumbo understands was started by a languages teacher whose impatience with the ST’s “execrable English” needed an outlet.

The group’s mission is to point out “the ST’s errors in matters of grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and style. Also showing how they generally write bad prose.”

One of the first posts reads: “Whether or not Singaporeans agree that the Straits Times is fair-minded reporting or a mind-numbing propaganda machine, all literate folk can agree that the Straits Times gives us examples of execrable English every day.”

Spelling and grammatical blunders make this teacher upset:

Bad spelling

Parking no longer be free ST

As does improper use of hyphens.

Hyphen nation

And odd headlines.

Headless woman killed by hubby

And gruesome murder reporting.

Final countdown ST

It is pointed out that the final paragraph of an ST murder story reads: “Some parts of Madam Lim’s body were missing during the post-mortem the next day. Police went back to the scene and found her eye balls and part of a tongue on a grass patch. Madam Lim’s right lung is still missing.”

Incorrect use of English words in general gets short shrift.

Incorrect use of words

With a few dug up from the recent past thrown in.

Remember this howler


Call Dr Mumbo a nitpicker, but this group might have a bigger following if it wasn’t for the author’s curious aversion to using capital letters at the start of his sentences. Maybe on Facebook no need.


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