Wednesday, July 18, 2007


THE GIFT OF THE (WEIRD) GAB

Have you noticed how the youngsters of today speak and the peculiar phrases they use? I was having
a conversation with my two big girls the other day about possible suitors during my younger days and they made serious exclamations when I mentioned a name or two. "Mak, nasib baik! Dia nampak 'skema' habis . Yucks!" I've heard the word 'skema' used many times amongst them and I think it can be translated into several meanings. So this time when they say that this person is so 'skema' it probably means that he looks like a nerd. So what's wrong with being nerdy? Perhaps a nerd is associated with being very 'bookish' and unaware of his surroundings which is definitely not cool in this modern day!

To muse further, being 'skema' might also mean that one follows everything by the book and dare not tread on unfamiliar grounds. Perhaps it also means that they plan meticulously before any venture, and spontaneity is never in their vocabulary. Being spontaneous is always related to being subjected to challenges and makes one more exciting and colorful.

Thus, in conclusion, my kids think their dad
is NOT a 'skema' person. In fact my husband was once dubbed as the malay version of Ryan O'Neal during his U days. Ooh la la! But my third daughter thinks otherwise. She thinks he is more appealing now than when he was much younger! Oh what a perception! (caution: you may need a vomit bucket nearby when reading this!!)

My third daughter loves using the phrase "macam nak nangis" denoting an emotion either full of disgust or exasperation and she uses it so well that I can't help laughing each time she articulates the phrase with poignant display of sentiment. Once, we were in the company of a family friend, a datuk, no less, sitting on the same table at a renowned stall selling nasi lemak kukus. As he talked in between sips of his teh tarik, he made some 'unbecoming" actions that were only caught by Aliah's sharp eyes.

Aliah who is so obsessed with cleanliness, saw him
wiping his sambal stained lips with a tissue paper and later used the same piece of tissue to wipe the table that he had dirtied whilst eating. What came next was utterly uncalled for, especially for an immaculate freak like Aliah. He had once again used the same crumpled tissue to wipe his mouth! Horrors! And he had sort of alternately repeated the grimy act with Aliah observing quietly, apparently unperturbed on the outside but definitely flinching inside, without doubt! When we left, Aliah can't wait to relate us the incident, using the phrase, "Aliah tak tahan tengok, macam nak nangis!' According to my eldest son, this phrase is an influence of the Japanese comics/ anime whereby a character is made to cry profusely (read: tears literally splashing out of both eyes) when faced with a predicament.

Of late, I've been hearing the word 'tak boleh bla' been used oft repeatedly by my eldest son. I've been trying to decipher its true meaning and usage. I sort of guessed what it implies but I am still puzzled of its relationship with the actual words. Can anyone help me out here?

I don't mind them using these phrases and words as long as they are not swearing or cursing slang. I remember in their younger days, when struck with anger, words like bab*, cela*a,sia*, bodo* were verbalized freely and each time I would exasperatedly reprimand them. At least, they have now, better and milder alternative words to express themselves. Never mind that most may sound ridiculous or preposterous. At least it does illustrate your true emotion, like wanting to 'cry' when someone digs his/hers nose at dinner table when you're about to devour your favourite ayam masak merah!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY FACET OF SHORT MESSAGE SYSTEM

I consider myself thrifty. In fact I had once blogged an entry and self-proclaimed myself as a cheapskate. Thus when it comes to communication using hand-phones I minimize my phone
bills by only sending sms where feasible. Phone calls are only for urgent matters that need immediate attention or when there's a sudden dire need to hear the voices of your loved ones. No, I am not someone who would make long idle chit-chat calls and I loathe those who do so!

Sms is a relative new trend of making communication, so much so, many of the older generation like my parents have difficulties in utilizing it. My chic mom however has recently mastered its usage and has proudly displayed her prowess by sending me sms-es with the latest sms lingo, courtesy of my youngest sister whom with cute ingenuity had made a flow chart on each steps of making a text message on my mom's mobile! Till today, my mom religiously follow the chart, lest she'll send me blank messages!

Sms lingo nowadays have carved a language of its own. Spellings are stringently shortened, leaving out vowels where possible, barely making out the real meaning of the word. The savvy and seasoned youngsters nowadays employ this 'distorted' language without qualms. They tap on the keypad with both fingers, even faster than a veteran typist. Some have even acquired the art of typing texts without looking at the keypad, using one hand, whilst driving! Such audacity!

As for me, I sometimes still find it hard to comprehend some messages. For instance today I texted a message to dear hubby complaining about somebody's lackadaisical attitude and he replied with a sentence that began with, "hmm.." . Now, how should I interpret the 'hmm'? Is it 'hmm with a ? and rising pitch that translates: "well, that's trivial. Why are you so upset?" Or is it a long 'hmm' that sounds like a sigh that reads: "well, what do you expect? Isn't that normal of him?"

"Entah la" and "Entah ler" carry two different connotations even though essentially they are the same. "Entah la' is sounded short and crisp and it represents a sincere confession of not knowing something. Whilst "entah ler" is phonated in a lax attitude, laden with skeptical insinuation, meaning that the person actually has knowledge of the matter but is simply exasperated to blurt it out. So, do mind your 'la' and 'ler' the next time you text!

I have a hunch that sms was invented for the cowards due to several reasons. If you can't fulfill an appointment you can simply sms and avoid the embarrassment of being a spoil sport. Making complains are much easier through sms as your grouses get across without having to unpleasantly confront and verbalize them. The setback is that the 'defendant' might just deny having received any message. To carry this cowardice sms act to the hilt is to actually divorce your wife via text messages! How can a man even consider himself being a man when he conveniently choses to end his marriage just by tapping his phone!

Despite it's abundant benefits, sms is not without its downside. Due to its widespread availability and low fees, sick people are quick to manipulate and abuse the whole system. Reality shows have and will continue to make billions merely on sms votes. Millions of people are willing to waste their money to make sure their idols win a contest.

Apart from that, sms has also reared its ugly head in the form of spreading malicious lies and creating unease amongst the people. An example is the case where an sms was passed around calling all to an alleged church gathering lead by a muslim apostate. On a personal ground, I was confided by a male patient who claimed that his wife had a torrid 'sms affair' with another man! Blimey!

In truth, all kinds of technical communications are necessary and useful. They make our life better and as communication is just a tap of the keys away, family relationship is uniquely enforced as compared to generations of yesteryears. However when greed and lust overcome, then the whole system evolves into something sinister, wild and unruly. Apparently, the human race never learn its lesson.....as long as they make the devil their advocate, that is!
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