The correct term is ...
By HUSSAINI ABDUL KARIM
THERE are many instances of wrong terms, tenses and pronunciations of English words in Malaysia.
I have noticed for quite some time now that the word “bonnet” is wrongly used by many Malaysians; even a major local Bahasa Malaysia newspaper is endorsing its wrong use, Kambing dalam bonet kereta stated one of its headlines recently.
“Bonnet” is the part that covers the engine compartment of a car which is normally located in front of the vehicle. (See diagram – American terms are shown in brackets).
It is wrongly used by many people here when referring to the “boot” of a car which is normally at the back (unless you are talking about a Volkswagen Beetle).
I am not sure when and how this started, but many people seem to be quite comfortable with its wrong usage, with some even insisting that they are right.
I hope this will put the debate to rest.
I also hear many teenagers and young people saying: “Keep and touch” not realising that it is wrong.
The correct phrase is: “Keep in touch”.Other common mistakes are: ending nouns with an ‘s’ in singular situations like “Annual sales” (an offer by a single shopping complex) and, “If I was ...” when it should be, “If I were...”.
Another error is adding verbs with “-ed” in present situations, such as “I liked this drink” whilst still having the drink.
It should be: “I like this drink”.Another example of wrong usage is when a store selling a new collection of imported shoes displays the sign “New arrival” instead of the correct term, “New arrivals”.
Frequently, a notice will be seen with the words, “Opening hour” followed by “10am to 10pm” when it should be “Opening hours” or “Working hours”. You can even see this in KLCC.
I have tried to correct this many times but the effort always proves futile. Some of the wrong signs put up there are permanent.
“Closed” is often wrongly stated as “Close” and “Open” as “Opened”.
There are many more examples.
If no one does something about this soon, there will be more and more English words wrongly used by Malaysians in future.
“Police” is wrongly pronounced by many as “paul–lis”; the correct pronunciation is “puh-lees”. You say “five-star hotel” to describe a hotel’s high standard of facilities and service, and you accord “five stars” to a hotel that provides a very high standard of service and excellent facilities.
There are many “convenient” stores in the country which are open 24 hours a day.
While this may not be wrong grammatically, the correct term is “convenience store”.
In Taman Indera Mahkota, Kuantan, you can see, feel and taste a “sample house” but in the Klang Valley, the proper term “show house” is used to describe a fully furnished and decorated house.
There is a deejay on a radio station who asks the question, “Siapakah dia penulis buku ‘The Malay Archipelago’?” and pronounces the word “Archipelago” as “ahr-chee-pel-ah-goh”.
This is broadcast every day.Many deejays at local concerts are fond of saying “Are you enjoy?” between performances, and the crowd claps and cheers.
He or she repeats it a few more times throughout the concert.
This is Manglish of course, and the correct expression should be: “Are you enjoying yourselves?”.
I have reproduced a list of some common words that are wrongly pronounced as well as the correct pronunciation.
I am not suggesting that we speak like native speakers but when we speak English properly, people should be able to understand us better.
For the examples, I used Dictionary.com and the Concise Oxford Dictionary.Maybe The Star’s Mind Our English or the Education Ministry should conduct a nationwide campaign on the proper use of English before the situation becomes worse.
Some private corporations out there may want to sponsor the campaign.
Some may want to argue and say that the Spanish speak “Spanglish”, the Singaporeans have “Singlish” and there is also “American English”. Why can’t we have our “Manglish?” Well, you can have it but use it at your own peril.
P/s: i used to say the car boot as bonnet. salah tuh! huhu