Category Archives: English

A Whole New World

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I am more than aware that my last post was around two and a half years ago. I lost my muse right around that time and stopped being able to come up with new ideas every once in a while. My inspiration well sort of dried up. But beginning sometime in March, so many new ideas have been creeping up and pouncing on me that I just have to get them out and down somewhere.

But before I get into that, first thing’s first – where have I been?

Let’s begin with two words: existential crisis. If any of you guys watch danisnotonfire on YouTube, you’ll probably be able to understand instantly what I mean. I was forced into the Science Stream of my high school after achieving good results in a mid-high-school examination, and let it just be said that saying Science isn’t my thing is the understatement of the century. Don’t get me wrong, I love Maths (though that’s not really a Science subject though, is it?), and Biology was one of my favourite subjects (partially because I had a really good teacher), but I simply cannot picture myself doing anything related to the field for the rest of my life. I want to be a writer, and that’s all there is to it. At first I thought, hey, I’m interested in engineering, that’s as good a reason as any to enjoy being in the Science stream…well apparently not. I’m colour blind. Colour blind people really, really can’t do anything related to engineering, as I discovered.

And then I spiraled into a horrible cycle of questions such as what the hell am I doing with my life? and why am I even here? and other ridiculous things like that. So yes, I had no idea what I was doing and why I was doing it, and I just sort of found myself going through the motions and making the best of the situation. Looking back, it wasn’t really such a bad experience, but at the time it was pretty confusing. The only subject I enjoyed was the elective I took up, Literature in English, and that was what kept me sane till I finally graduated. 

A dream of mine came true when I was selected for National Service (a three month military type camp) and was stationed in Sabah from January to March of this year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Sabah is in East Malaysia while I live in West Malaysia, which means I have to get on a plane to get there (not that I mind, because I love travelling and planes and other such things). I’m not going to go much into that, but suffice to say that it was probably the very best experience of my life. I got to meet incredible people and received the opportunity to do a lot of things I’d never done before, like shoot a gun (another thing to check off my bucket list, yay!) and learn traditional dance. I even got to choreograph a very short RnB dance, which was lots of fun. I came back home on March 18th with a handful of fantastic experiences, higher self-confidence, wonderful new friends and a very bad tan. It was awesome.

I have just only started going to university, where I’m taking up Foundation in Arts and Education in hopes of pursuing a degree in English with Creative Writing a year from now. After spending eleven years trapped in a government school system, having the freedom to spread my wings and take control of my own path feels a lot like bliss. I love the more interactive learning I get to do here, where I feel like I’m actually gaining knowledge and being educated instead of simply being schooled. It’s really amazing, plus all the lecturers are wonderful and the people I’ve met so far are nothing short of lovely.

That being said, the workload is going to pile up pretty soon so I’m going to have to focus right on the assignments and projects at hand, diving headfirst into them and immersing myself in new (and frankly, pretty awesome) experiences and a lot of stuff I don’t quite understand yet. It helps a lot that I’m finally able to take up what I’m truly interested in. I feel like I’m able to give my very best and participate fully in every single one of my classes. However, being in university also means I’m away from home and miss my family and friends every now and then, but I’m sure it’s all going to be very much worth it in the end. Besides, I’m enjoying myself so much now, and it’s only my third day!

I’m slightly out of practice as far as writing is concerned (as you can probably tell) because lately I’ve been focusing my efforts on poems and songs, leaving my incomplete novel-in-progress to gather dust in a corner and abandoning short story ideas by shoving them somewhere underneath other slightly less fun obligations in hopes that I’ll have time to dig them out and sort through them later. Hence, I’m making myself a little bit of a goal – to publish something on this blog at least once a fortnight (hopefully every weekend, if I can) that will get my creative juices flowing. I have a list of things I want to write, I just have to find the time to actually type them all out and post them here. It takes a little more effort for me to do that because I prefer the sensation of an inky blue pen scratching against notebook paper a lot more than I enjoy the clickity-clack of a keyboard, but I have to admit there’s something satisfying in watching letters appear across a previously blank, white computer screen. Hmm…that’s quite a good topic, actually. Maybe I’ll go into that a little more later on.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now. Life is good for me, and I hope it’s going well for you too. Till next time! 

Grammar Woes

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Seriously, I’ve been born and raised in this country and everyone has used the phrase at least once.

Let me illustrate a situation…

An English teacher has just given the class a lecture about bad English. She then gives the class assignments, saying to them, “Please pass them up by tomorrow!”

Eeek!!!

Let me provide a translation.

Pass Up

vb (tr, adverb)

  1. Informal to let go by; ignore; decline: I won’t pass up this opportunity
  2. to take no notice of (someone)

Now how is it possible that you can ignore your homework by tomorrow?

Another not-as-common (but still as tragic) mistake is saying “pass on”:

Pass On
vb (tr, adverb)
  1. Place into the hands or custody of
    – pass, hand, reach, turn over, give
  2. Transmit (knowledge or skills)
    “pass on a new skill to the students”;
    – impart, leave, give
  3. Move forward, also in the metaphorical sense
    “Time passes on”;
    – advance, progress, move on, march on, go on
  4. Give to or transfer possession of
  5. Refer to another person for decision or judgment
    “She likes to pass on difficult questions to her colleagues”;
    – relegate, submit
  6. Cause to be distributed
    – circulate, pass around, distribute
  7. Transmit information
    “Please pass on this message to all employees”;
    – communicate, pass, pass along, put across

It can also refer to someone dying… so, can homework die by tomorrow?

The correct term is submit or simply pass.