Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Accent – uate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

I’d like to comment on all this brouhaha concerning democratically elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s English skills. With English as my native language and having listened to her statement in response to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I found that PM Yingluck’s English communication wasn’t bad at all. It was totally comprehensible to me.

This is contradictory to comments by PM Yingluck’s anti-democracy opponents in Thailand like Somkiat Onwimon, who said her said that her English was unserviceable and incomprehensible.

Somkiat Onwimon is a retired academic, a former senator and current news anchor in Thailand. And, no offence to Malcom X, but Somkiat looks like a Thai version of the slain 1960s civil rights leader with an elderly skunk sitting on his head.

It is ironic that Mr. Onwimon, made those comments on Twitter, because he certainly is a “twit,” a Thai elitist snob with an inferiority complex who leads himself to believe that the only good English is the Queen’s English. 

Twitter is the perfect venue for someone like Mr. Onwimon. I doubt I’ll be seeing Mr. Onwimon here in Houston, admonishing us on our Texas Drawl. He won’t be going to Kentucky State University, Yingluck’s alma mater, and tell them that their Kentucky Twang is abominable. Nor will he go to Edinburgh and tell their citizens that their Scottish Brogue has got to go because only the Queen’s English will do.

Now I do readily admit that PM Yingluck had a bit of a thick accent, perhaps exacerbated by fatigued due to tirelessly saving Thailand from the flooding crisis caused by the previous government’s mismanagement and malfeasance.  However, we must all remember that PM Yingluck was addressing Hillary Clinton, and as a fellow American, I can honestly attest that Yingluck’s English was perfectly understandable to us Yanks.

I’d like to also be just as fair to Mr. Onwimon when he insinuates that bad English skills can potentially damage Thailand with regards to foreign relations. That is very true. Take for instance, Kasit Piromya, the former Foreign Minister from the previous military installed government.  My head hurt every time I heard him speak.  His English always seemed troglodytic and barely functional to me.
Kasit resorting to hand gestures in order to communicate his need for a bathroom break

Of course, Kasit is a yellow shirted PAD and the PAD buffoons are notorious for having poor English skills. Their spelling and grammatical errors in English have been well documented. 

Can you spot the spelling or grammatical errors in the following PAD signs?

This next one is easy, as they are actually pointing to the error?

This evidence helps to support the generally accepted theory that the PAD helped the army (at least in making their signs for them) in the massacre of innocent pro-democracy protesters in April and May 2010.

Of course, the most obvious mistake in English that the PAD made is in their very name of their organization. They mixed up the prepositions “for” and “against”.  Their rhetoric and actions suggest that their organization should really be known as the “People’s Alliance Against Democracy.” 

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