Jackoatsmon's Blog

October 26, 2011


Filed under: Musings — jackoatsmon @ 2:12 am

I was reading a friend’s blog and facebook entries recently and was quite amazed by the number of activities she was having with her old friends, some which were apparently out of touch for many years.  It takes a fair bit of time and effort to be doing this.

Her activities reminded me of the opening lines of a poem which I used to read and treasure long ago but have now mainly forgotten.

Make new friends but keep the old,
Those are sliver but these are gold

Looking back, I realise that most of my friendships have been transient.  They have lasted only slightly longer than the circumstances that had thrown me together with them and faded quickly after that.  When I was young, I suppose that it was because I did not truly consider them to be true friends as they would often choose others over me when the time came.  Another reason is that I did not make a real effort to stay in touch.  Then again, real friendship does not truly require a constant string of activities to keep up although the occasional touchpoint is still needed.

Now that I am older, I am glad that I have at least found friends that have stood the test of time.  We may not get in contact regularly and a couple of years by pass without seeing each other but when we do, it is always good and we enjoy catching up with each others lives.

Old friends, like gold, are indeed precious.

(I just googled the opening lines and found the lyrics to a folk song that starts of with the same lines.  I am not sure whether this is what I read originally though.  The lyrics can be found at http://www.songsforteaching.com/folk/makenewfriends.php.)



October 23, 2011


Filed under: Musings — jackoatsmon @ 1:18 am

Growing up during a time when the country was rapidly developing has given me a chance to grow with it as well.  Looking back in the past, I can compare what I have now against what I use to have and  be grateful that my lot in life has improved.  I was fortunate enough to be able to study in the University, get a good job and provide some of the nicer things in life for my family even though we will never be living the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

I was talking with some friends the other day though about how I am sometimes worried about what will happen to my children when they grow up.  While they are enjoying a nice life now, will they be able to afford the same when they grow up and have to pay for it themselves?  As parents, we try to provide them with the as much advantages as we can in terms of education and experiences but that is no guarantee of their success in life.  Looking at the grades the kids bring back at times, the fear exists that they will have problems down the road.  Of course, being able to afford the material things in life is not everything but I just hope that they will not have to do with less in the future.  I sometimes wonder whether I should give them less so that they will be able to better appreciate the finer things in life later on but that doesn’t feel right as well.

There is the concern as well that whether they will be happy from the social point as well.  That they will have good friends, a good life partner and a good job.  Basicallly, that they will be happy.  Many of these aspects are not within my control.  I can only give them the best I can and bury my fears as deeply as I possibly can and hope for the best.

October 18, 2011

Oriented and Orientated

Filed under: Uncategorized — jackoatsmon @ 3:32 pm

One of the things that I had often challenged people on was the use of the word ‘orientated’.  I had always thought that it was a mispronunciation of the word ‘oriented’.  I was therefore rather surprised to hear an Englishman use the word today.  Finally did a check on the web and discovered that both words are correct although ‘orientated’ appears to be used more by the British and ‘oriented’ by the Americans.  The Englishman in question does not use the word ‘oriented’.

For someone who is supposed to be able to speak the Queen’s English, this is rather embarressing.  (Although I am certain that there is already a multitude of errors in my writing.)

For those who are interested, I found the above information at http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ori1.htm.

October 15, 2011

Origins of Languages?

Filed under: Musings — jackoatsmon @ 4:04 pm

Every now and then, I would encounter an article or have a friend tell me about how a particular word originated from Latin or from another French word, etc.  I have at times pondered on the origins of certain words and came up with my own ideas on where it may have originated from.  I recall reading about the story about the Tower of Babel where God scattered the peoples and confused their language thus resulting in the creation of the various languages (or their predecessors).

I can’t help wondering however, given the situation of improperly spoken languages nowadays, whether they had broken languages at that time.  How did they determine the proper grammatical structures to be used?  How did they determined the proper spelling (or hieroglyphics) to represent each word?  How long was it after God scattered the peoples did each group decide to form a committee to decide what is the ‘proper’ language that is to be spoken and look down their noses at those who do not speak it properly?  Did they have language classes then?

Today,  we have various forms of English that deviates from the Queen’s English.  We have Cockney, Japlish, Chinlish and my own favorite Singlish among many others.  Wouldn’t it be amusing if some time in the far future, Singlish becomes a ‘proper’ language and there are books on the when a Hokkien word should be used within a sentence.  😛

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