Mind your language: Educate, not shame those with poor command

By Yeap Ming Liong


I WAS having a cup of coffee at a popular convenience store recently when I noticed a young lady seated at the table beside me meticulously filling up a form. I soon realized it was an employment form for a part time stint at the store.

The young lady was about to embark on perhaps the first job of her working life. She was eager and I can tell from the look in her eyes she was hungry for working experience.

One of the staff was at hand to guide her in translating the form to Bahasa Malaysia. I took it that she had trouble reading or perhaps understanding the form, which is in English.

It is not her fault she did not fully understand the words in the form. In fact, it is not anybody’s fault.

I do not claim to be a master in the English language, but at times, I do come across publications, press releases and even reports by reputable agencies, organizations and companies where the English language is somewhat carelessly put together.

Some people take to social media to name and shame the mistakes made, but please if you really want to help it would be graceful to private message or write in personally.

What I usually do is e-mail or direct message the organization or company highlighting the mistake to them. They in turn reply stating their thanks and appreciation, and everyone moves one with their lives.

I must remind everyone that while no one language is superior to another. However, the English language is a lingua franca. There is no denying that.

We all can do our humble parts in making the comprehension and understanding of the language a little easier for everyone. – April 8, 2021


Yeap Ming Liong is from Subang Jaya Selangor.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.



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