Thursday, July 29, 2004

The greatest FCUK in the world

Dear NiRvanA

7 years ago, I decided to give up swear words that enquire about each other's parents, ancestors and other relations and any swearing that requires specific reference to any other anatomical parts of homosapiens or animals. I am not holier than thou, I am definitely not moralising the issue. Many a man's use of profanity has saved him from a nervous breakdown. I grew up around friends and relatives and neighbours who were swearing every 4th word.

The most profane word I use these days is probably a twisted form of "sh*t", I say "shoot" like the rest of my bostonian college (all women college) schoolmates and professors. As as Mark Twain said "I shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes."

Of course, I do suffer from the 7 year itch, every once in a while, I use the F word but since it is now a fashion label, it seems tolerable and not too uncouth. The label is FCUK. (French Connection UK). I bought a couple of tee shirts from the FCUK shop. And it turned a few heads in Singapore. On the tees : "Possibly the greatest FCUK in the world". "I am with this stupid FCUK". If you want to pronounce "fcuk", try the bahasa sound "cuk (choke) - so you end up cursing "F-Choke" you!

Mark Twain on profanity:

When angry count four; when very angry, swear.

The idea that no gentleman ever swears is all wrong. He can swear and still be a gentleman if he does it in a nice and benevolent and affectionate way.

There ought to be a room in every house to swear in. It's dangerous to have to repress an emotion like that.

Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

Let us swear while we may, for in Heaven it will not be allowed.

It is no harm to be an ass, if one is content to bray and not kick.

From "Beer" episode of BlackAdder II (starring Rowan Atkinson of Mr Bean):

Lady Whiteadder: I hope you did not invite anyone else. For where there are others, there are people to fornicate with!

Edmund Blackadder :Well, I'll just go tell them to...fornicate off

Profanity? F chook that!

[post 25/1997]

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Compos Mentis (Of Sound Mind)

LKY "I am still compos mentis" ST 7/28/2004.  Compos mentis is latin for sound mind. Punctuating your sentences with latin phrases is voque, sensu lato (broadly speaking).

I love to argue. I always assume what I 'claim to be proving' and assume that the other person is begging the question.

Here is a simple trick to have the last say in a fallacious argument.

For e.g (exempli gratia - by grace of example):

Me: "There is no such chew-zhau (teochew, chao zhou) cuisine known as "打冷“ , pronounced by HK people as "da larn". It is made up by HK locals as they 打个round to look for food (supper) after a midnight movie. And in those days, the teochew eateries are always open late into the night. So teochew food becomes "打冷“ as it sounds like 打个round"

Opponent: "But the chewzhau chef who has been in HK for past 4 decades told me that teochew cuisine is normally known as "da larn" because..."

Me: "You are begging the question."

Opponent silenced. Reason: He was indeed begging the question or he did not know the meaning of Begging the Question. Or he pretended to know the meaning and play safe to avoid detection by keeping his mouth shut.

For the record (another good phrase to use). Begging the question means

"In the fallacy of circular reasoning, you assume to be true what you are supposed to be proving."

If this fails, end your sentence with a "QED" (quod erat demonstrandum) meaning which was to be demonstrated or proven. During my undergrad days as a Statistics Major, I used "QED" to its death. I have never failed any of my statistics papers, ipso facto. (by that very fact).

[post 24/1997]


Tuesday, July 27, 2004


An open letter to a fellow "old flower eyer":

Hi Aniram,

Long sightedness (or farsightedness) AND "old flower" both have the same outcome, meaning people with LS or OF have difficulty seeing up close.
In both instances, the light falls behind the retina due to the shorter eyeball.

However, the CAUSE of LS and OF is different.

In optical terms:
Long or Far sightness is HYPEROPIA
Old flower eyes is PRESBYOPIA
Short sightness is MYOPIA

Presbyopia is an age related process while Long (Far) sightness is related to the shape of the eyeball. Presbyopia is due to the loss of flexibility (musular fibers or protein build up) of the natural lens in your eye.

In USA, a new method of surgery has been temporary approved to correct Old Flower. (April 2004). I think we can wait till we are 70 or 90 . Of course by then we could be dead with perfect eyesight for the journey to the other side.

What come may, I am happy to have the lasik surgery. Soon or sooner I will need reading glasses. Doc explains that if you have myopia, then your will need reading glasses at a later stage - meaning you have to wear bifocals at some time in your life.
Now that I have "perfect eyesight" (20/20):
1) I don't need contact lenese or bifocals
2) I no longer need to memorise the Smellen Eye Chart to cheat my optometrist
3) now I look cool and intellectual with my flaming red rimmed reading glasses and only need it when reading size of letters the height of a viral cell. 
If I have not gone for the lasik surgery I would be blind as a bat in the left eye (-9.00) and half blind in the right (-5.25), therefore need contact lenses if I can find them, or I need bifocals when I age gradually.  

One of the disadvantages of having old flower eyes is that I cannot go dine by myself without the risk of pointing to a blur menu and saying to the waiter "I'll have this" - and ordering the address and fax number of the restaurant. 

The doc said I would have Monovision. Left eye to see far, and right eye to see near. The brain naturally favors one eye. Great! But I can't play "I spy with my little eye" with my nephew and nieces, I have to play "I spy with my left eye" .

Cheers, your fellow old flower eyer,

[post 24/1997]

Beng Go

I normally check my inactive yahoo email once a month to delete bulk emails and to read any genuine ones. I was annoyed by several emails in the regular IN box encouraging me to PRAY BENG-GO (Singaporeans: please decrypt, PRAY as in Phua Chu Kang's Don't Pray Pray).
Why did I not use the correct English words instead of Pray Beng-go? Well, I have a nagging suspicion that someone someplace hijacked my email to a long lost friend. In that email, I wrote: "Hi .. I havent heard from you for a long time. I was checking my yahoo and Beng-go! Got a msg from you..."
And soon after that reply, my mail box was attacked by half a dozen of email ads on Praying Orfline or Ongline Beng-go
Therefore if we write in Singlish, we are probably less likely to be spamed. I am not kidding. HKU has this plagarism detection software. The results are indicated by color codes - RED if more than 90% are plagarised. The local students cleverly cheated the software. How? They replaced the plagarised paragraphs with mispelt words and grammar errors to trick the software. The software matches exact 6 words to determine that a hit.
Wellcome to Bengo Zonh!
[post 23/97]