Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Communications with younger generation - English

"English is a difficult language to master," I said to the young lady who stated that she had not heard of the word "nincompoop". I was having dinner with a group of 4th year vet students after the Royal Perth Show.

If you are in the puppy business, you may think it has something to do with toilet-training "poo" or "poop"

Have I heard of it? Yes. It means a foolish silly person. The young lady next to me whipped out her mobile phone, checked the meaning and showed it to me. No more wasting time on offline dictionaries. Communications with the young in the "Queen's English" is sometimes not possible. Some examples are:

1. "Why so drama?" the husband asked the wife. I was having dinner with the younger generation in their late 30s in Joondalup yesterday. The husband meant "What are you so dramatic?"

2. When I said to a young vet undergraduate that I would like to be properly introduced to her friend and husband, she said she would arrange a dinner meeting. I asked: "Does your friend entertain at home?" The young lady said: "Yes, she is able to chat easily with people". I meant whether she hosts dinner at home.

3. My young intern Ms Lai worked for a famous gynecologist who was my secondary school classmate and who highly recommended her for an internship with me - a condition of her internship as she had mentioned his name as a referree. One day I asked: "Have you seen him lately?" I wanted to catch up with this old classmate whom I had not met for over 15 years.

"No," she said. "I feel embarrassed to see him." She meant she would not consult him for her gynecological problems as she worked closely with him on a hornbill project.

4. "The young vet has excellent public relations," I said to the young lady who did not know the meaning of "nincompoop" earlier. She agreed with my opiniated comments.

I continued: "You know, in the pet internet forums, some lady clients said that if you want "eye candy", bring your dog to consult him."

"No, no," this young lady objected. "He is no eye candy." At least there is one communication I successfully carried on with one young one. I am a male and so I do not know whether the particular young vet is eye candy or not.

So, communications with the younger generation of Singaporeans by the old foggies can be quite alarming and interersting sometimes.

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