Our relationship with English – and Singlish – is not one that is easily defined. Years ago, the use of Singlish was banned on television, with presenters having to do retakes whenever our dialogue included things such as “walau eh” and “like that lor”. #truestory
Some define Singlish as bad English, but I would argue that it is a lot more intricate than that. It is a form of English with its own grammar system, one that drops most verb conjugations, prepositions and even plurals, and has a vocabulary that includes words in Malay, Tamil and Chinese dialects. To me, Singlish is the language of the street, reflecting the range of our country’s immigrant roots.