Welcome to "Improve Your English"
Here, you can inspect examples of real mistakes that real people have made. If you enjoy Bad English, enjoy Funny Quotes or simply want to Improve Your English, this page is for you. Since I live in Singapore, much of the stuff here can be said to be examples of the Singapore English or "Singlish" that the Government seems so intent on stamping out.
The examples here fall into four categories.
The wrong parts of the sentences and phrases are in bold and the corrected versions are in brackets at the end of the line (unless the sentence is really beyond hope english or logic-wise, in which case I put a "(?)" at the end of the sentence or a "(???)" for the really nonsensical ones). The bolding of some parts is akin to writing (sic) there.
sic \Sic\, adv.
Thus; so. Used in written texts to indicate that a surprising or paradoxical word, phrase, or fact is not a mistake and is to be read as it stands. This word is sometimes inserted in a quotation [sic], to call attention to the fact that some remarkable or inaccurate expression, misspelling, or the like, is literally reproduced.
Some of the examples may be corny (or lame), but they are here for the sake of completeness.
Most of the entries here are taken from people's utterances. Those from written sources have " (written) " appended at the end of the quote.
The Quotes are arranged in roughly chronological order.
Disclaimer: The quotes here are not meant to defame or put down anybody - that is not the intention of this page. As a precautionary measure, most "contributors" are anonymous.
This is a personal website, and the webmaster feels like expressing factual information which in no way detracts from the character of the contributors (inadvertent or otherwise), most of whom I have a great deal of respect for.
Key: A " ' " denotes where the sound of the previous syllable should end and that of the next syllable should start.
For mispronounced words, there are 2 ways in which I have represented the way that they were mispronounced.
1. The spelling is based on the correct spelling of the original word, with the mispronounced part changed.
For example, breests (breasts) is pronounced as breasts, but with the "air" (the part after the "br" sound) changed to "eee".
2. The misspelled word is broken up into syllables and each syllable is spelt as it sounds.
For example, Lee'nux (Linux). The first syllable is "Lee" (as in the surname) and the second is "Nux" (as in Linux)
A more accurate way would be to use phonetic symbols, but there is simply no time, so my arbitrary methods will have to suffice.
On rare occasions, the misspelled word is so mangled, it is pronounced as another word.
For example, those are uniques! (eunuchs). The contributor pronounced the word "eunuch" as "unique".
Despite my efforts, I am sure that many visitors will not know how the original speakers pronounced the word. The visitor will just have to be satisfied with knowing that the word was pronounced wrongly.
A Note On Square Brackets:
In browsing this page, you may come across square brackets. The purpose of these square brackets is manifold.
Sometimes, due to haste or laziness, people leave out certain words in their conversation.
For example: Even if we got last [in the competition], I'd be quite happy.
This contributor actually said "Even if we got last, I'd be quite happy". For ease of understanding and to put the quote in context, the square brackets are used to insert the missing words.
When the square brackets are used at the start of a quote, they denote the context in which or the tone with which the quote was uttered. Often, not knowing the context of a quote means that the reader does not understand why the quote is wrong/odd.
For example: [Blaming others from his misfortunes / Jeering at the Computer for outsmarting him] The Tupi destroyed my artillery. So lame. Lame lame. Lame around.
When the square bracket includes the name of someone, it means that that person had uttered something.
For example: [Gabriel: Will you get an A1?] Probably I hope so.
Friends of Improve Your English (incomplete list):
Chew Hui Jun
Chew Hui Mei
Weili Lin - for informing me that "misspelled" was spelled thus
YuCheng, Lin (sic)
Mr S. - who corrected the mistakes I made in quoting him
and many more, doubtless, for contributing entries (even inadvertently) and correcting my *own* spelling mistakes. *sheepish grin*