Blogging Language…is it important to do it correctly?


Normally, I have never bothered with the language in anyone’s blog. Why should I?

It is not my blog and everyone has their right to determine how they want to express themselves. Even my own blog is not perfect…it has spelling errors; critical grammar mistakes and sometimes sentences that does not make any sense.To minimise spelling mistakes and grammar errors, what I do is that I would firstly type it in a MS Word. Do the spelling and grammar checks before posting. Most of the time, it works but not all the time. With little time to spare to put up a blog post, I don’t have the time to do any proof-reading of my post. So, I would only realise my errors (especially missing words or badly constructed statements – as usual) in the post if it is pointed out in the comments or when I glance through it a day or two later.

No matter what language one chooses to express, I think that they should at least express it as correctly as possible. It is because, there are other people reading the blog for pleasure and there are some who are also reading to improve their mastery of language…be it English, Bahasa, Chinese, whatever (I am one of them).

Running through the many blogs, I managed to summarise the different types of “languages” used by the bloggers:-

1. Good English
2. Good Bahasa Malaysia
3. Good other language
4. A mix of English and Bahasa Malaysia
5. A mix of English and other languages
6. Bahasa pasar (way too many mistakes)
7. Ah Beng language

Sometimes, it may the case of “the thought is faster than typing”. It just may be. I am not disputing. But is this how we wanted to improve the language?

See the example of the language being butchered here:-

1. Ok before I story you about my unbelievable encounter with….

2. This the actual ***** version yang akan direleasekan dlm album soundtrack

(Note: Taken from one particular blog for examples only. No malice was intended. The said blog is still in my blogroll list)
Compare the above with the post from Bustaman. It’s a rare jewel!

Examples like this:-

1. This is not a reflection of my shoddy writing but rather the level of computer-literacy of my generation. We are the kalam batu (slate stylus) generation

2. He brought a plastic bag full of mas cotek leaves and some kerepok keping (fish crackers) samples
3. I started to pay attention when he told his bonda that he forgot what he was going to say because “his thoughts were on a train and the train went away.”

Bustaman has not only twined the beauty of English with a localized outlook of everyday event in his blog, he has also opened our eyes on some of Bahasa Malaysia used in Trengganu. He often types the words (other than in English) in italics in order to differentiate it.With the entire nation pushing to master English (for example the NST’s project), perhaps it is a good time for us to look back into our blogs and at least get the language right.
It need not be in English, mind you.

(Picture source: http://www.cgu.edu/pages/792.asp)
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