Singlish

 

Word Usage

alphabet (used interchangeably with the word "letter")

e.g. The alphabet "A"
  There are twelve alphabets in my name.

There are twenty-six letters but only one alphabet for the English language.

Standard English Alternative: letters of the alphabet.

e.g. The letter “A”
  There are twelve letters in my name.

bring, fetch, send

e.g. I am bringing him to the doctor's because he is quite sick.
  She fetched him to the airport last night.
  He sends his girlfriend home every night.

With reference to the Cambridge International Dictionary of English (1995), the usage of these three words are as follows:

To bring is to take or carry someone or something towards the direction of the person speaking. Hence, you cannot bring someone to the doctor's if you are going with the person. However, you can ask someone to bring you something.

To fetch is to go to another place to get someone or something before bringing it back. Therefore, you cannot fetch someone to the airport but you can fetch someone from the airport.

Meanwhile, to send is to cause someone or something to go somewhere or to do something without the speaker going together with that which is being sent (e.g. to send a letter or a parcel). Hence, you cannot be sending your girlfriend home every night unless you are telling her: "Off you go; go straight home."

Standard English Alternatives: take, etc. (depending on the context)

e.g. I am taking him to the doctor's because he is quite sick.
  She took/accompanied him to the airport last night.
  He sees his girlfriend home every night.

chop (to mean "stamp", as in using a rubber stamp to stamp on something)

e.g. Please chop and sign here to acknowledge receipt of the goods.
  Do you have a company chop?

To chop is to cut something into pieces. You can chop down a tree, chop meat into small pieces, etc. However, to “chop and sign” would be ridiculous: after chopping something into smaller bits, where should you be putting your signature? Since the action of chopping is not equivalent to stamping, then a stamp cannot be called a chop.

Standard English Alternative: stamp.

e.g. Please stamp and sign here to acknowledge receipt.
  Do you have a company stamp?

clothings (plural for “clothing”)

e.g. Cheap clothings are sold here.
  You should not bring too many clothings when you travel.

Clothing is an uncountable noun. You cannot say “one clothing”, “two clothings”, etc.; and it is similar for clothes. There is no such term as “clothe” (noun) as a singular form of “clothes”. You can only count items of clothing and say “much” or “little” clothing (e.g. The baby was found with little clothing on).

Standard English Alternative: clothing.

e.g. Cheap clothing is sold here.
  You should not bring too much clothing when you travel.

colour (used immediately after the names of each colour whenever they are referred to)

e.g. He drives a silver colour BMW.
  This product comes in six colours: blue colour, red colour, green colour, yellow colour, orange colour and purple colour.

This usage is probably the result of confusion with expressions like “blue-coloured chair” and “pink-coloured guava”, where the -ed inflection for the participle form is missing, resulting in expressions like “blue colour chair” and “pink colour guava”. Since red, blue, pink, purple, orange, green, yellow, etc. are colours, it is redundant to say “red colour”, “blue colour” and so on.

Standard English Alternatives:

e.g. He drives a silver BMW./He drives a silver-coloured BMW.
  This product comes in six colours: blue, red, green, yellow, orange and purple.

horn (as a verb to express the act of sounding the car horn)

e.g. “Stop horning at me!” yelled the old man who was crossing the road slowly.
  They horned repeatedly at the reckless driver who nearly caused a collision.

The word “horn” names the hard pointed part found on an animal's head, a musical instrument and the instrument in a motor vehicle that is used to make a loud sound. According to The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998), “horn” can be used as a verb; however, it refers only to either an animal’s butting or goring with its horn(s), or a person being unfaithful to his/her spouse.

Standard English Alternatives: You can sound the horn, toot your horn, honk (your car horn) or give a honk (on your car horn).

e.g. “Stop honking your car horn at me!” yelled the old man who was crossing the road slowly.
  They sounded the horn repeatedly at the reckless driver who nearly caused a collision.