Sep 8, 2010
Act on poor English
Speak Good English campaign recommends 'guerilla tactic' to clean up language lapses
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan speaking at the launch at Xin Food Court yesterday. This year's drive is aimed at getting people to consciously speak in correct English in any situation. -- ST PHOTO: RAJ NADARAJAN
THE next time you see a sign written in poor English, don't just walk by. Instead,
paste a sticky note over it, correcting the grammatical error.
The people behind the Speak Good English Movement are hoping that this guerilla
tactic will get more Singaporeans to be conscious of their English and help others
correct their mistakes.
Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan kicked
off this year's campaign by being the first to correct a sign at the Xin Food Court at
the HarbourFront Centre yesterday. He replaced an ungrammatical sign saying 'No
outside food allowed' with a correct one which reads 'No food from elsewhere, please'.
The reach of this year's movement, now in its 11th year, has been widened to get
Singaporeans to consciously speak good English, regardless of whether they are having
a conversation with a colleague, a family member, a hawker or a taxi driver.
This year's tagline is 'Get It Right' - aimed at getting people to use good English, full stop.
In his speech at yesterday's launch, Dr Balakrishnan reminded those gathered that English
was chosen as the main language of communication here for pragmatic reasons. It is
the language of science and technology, which the Republic needs to advance, and it
helps to bridge the gap between the different races here, and to reach out to the wider
world. English, he said, is the most common second language in the world.