Tuesday 31 May 2016

1753 HKSAR Name of the Day

Emmeline Mok (Ms), alumnus, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Old French and Old German origin; the meaning of Emmeline is "entire, universal"

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Sunday 29 May 2016

1752 HKSAR Name of the Day

Quintus Tse (born May 2010), second son of Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi and Nicholas Tse Ting-fung who are actors and a celebrity couple in Hong Kong.

Note: this name was chosen by his parents, not self-inflicted

meaning “fifth”

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Friday 27 May 2016

1751 HKSAR Name of the Day

Resina Wong, 47-year-old executive, Cheung Kong Holdings (May 2011), Hong Kong 

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Thursday 26 May 2016

Lake Bell iPhone 6s Commercial Curious Accent

Lake Bell does a great British accent but her own native US accent sounds weird ... almost as if she's deliberately emphasizing every syllable she can and slowly, which is so unAmerican!! It is such a "hard, almost cold" accent which, from my perspective, means when I hear Bell speak (as in the iPhone 6s advertisements, which for the first time use a female narrator) I am instantly suspicious of the message.

iPhone 6s Ad -- Less Time

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Monday 23 May 2016

Engrish Writing Competition

There is a shockingly atrocious email from the New York Times' Head of Education (Asia Pacific), Ms Mandy Lam, that contains numerous errors in English (please read below).

So instead of participating in the NYT's 2016 English Writing Competition, we should have a competition to see how many grammatical mistakes there are in Ms Lam's email, which was sent to all universities and high schools in Hong Kong ... and presumably to similar education institutions in the Asia Pacific region as well.

Mandy Lam, you should be marked down for your work (you may well blame your underlings or interns, but you are still responsible and accountable for your diabolical email). You should be thoroughly ashamed of being the NYT's head of education.

How many grammatical errors are there?? Shocking.

Reference (this was the mass email sent by Mandy Lam today to all universities and high schools)

From: Lam, Mandy <mlam@nytimes.com>
Date: Monday, 23 May 2016
Subject: English Writing Competition Asia Pacific - Call for Entries

Dear all,

New York Times are pleased to having the 2016 English Writing Competition in Asia Pacific 

We are now Call for Entries and The topic of this year 2016 is "Global Youth", attached herewith the Terms and Condition for your reference. All participants will get the certificate of participation and the shortlisted articles will publish in a booklet and send out to the schools in Asia Pacific. The champion article will publish in International New York Times Asia Pacific Edition.

I also enclosed the 2015 booklet of articles under the topic of Global Education to you. 

We have two category of Writing Competition: University and Secondary School.

This is a good writing exercise to share your works across Asia Pacific and learn from each others. Please feel free to invite any of your students to join the Writing Competition.

Looking forward to your submission.


Head of Education, Asia Pacific
International New York Times
1201, K Wah Center, 191 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong
Mobile +852 9199 5278
Tel +852 2922 1172
Fax +852 2922 1190

If you do not wish to be contacted about The New York Times in Education in the future, please reply to this email and write, "unsubscribe.


1749 HKSAR Name of the Day

Katiryn Cheung Suen, Hung Hom, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 16 May 2011)

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Saturday 21 May 2016

1748 HKSAR Name of the Day

Samson Hung Kin-man, barrister (to Tam Mei-kam, mother of late singer Anita Mui Yim-fong, who failed in her challenge of the validity of her daughter's will in May 2011), Hong Kong
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Name Category: Rare; Literature-based; Son-suffix; Somewhat common in Hong Kong

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Thursday 19 May 2016

1747 HKSAR Name of the Day

Shera Yeung, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 19 May 2011)

Aramaic origin; the meaning of Shera is "brightness"

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Tuesday 17 May 2016

1746 HKSAR Name of the Day

Heine Yuan (Mr), 24-year-old cyclist killed in a road accident by a minibus (6 May 2011), Hong Kong

Old German; Heine means "home leader"

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Sunday 15 May 2016

1745 HKSAR Name of the Day

Karen Li Ka-wing, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 4 May 2011)

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Name Category: Common; Phonetic-based?

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Saturday 14 May 2016

Bruce Lee Gay Icon?

I managed to visit the HK Heritage Museum last week to see the Claude Monet exhibition that is currently on display. There were plenty of people enjoying being in the presence of Monet's works and happily snapping photos too. I also took some pics, including this one ...

Gondola in Venice 1908 (when Monet was 68 years old)

I then went upstairs to see the Bruce Lee exhibition (these artefacts are being housed temporarily in the HK Heritage Museum until 2018).

Bruce Lee looking "buff" and hypothetically perhaps not out of place 
as a cover shot for a gay magazine

Imagine my surprise when the "guards" there told me off for taking photos. The public are forbidden to take photos in the Bruce Lee exhibition. WTF? We are permitted to take photos of as many Monet's as we can hold our smartphones to, but we are banned from snapping anything about Bruce Lee!!!

It didn't stop me from taking another interesting pic ... Bruce Lee's fantastically classical handwriting. Looking at his scribblings, I can't help but think that Bruce Lee, who was a truly great artist, was also very neat too (in a metrosexual kinda way)!

Bruce Lee's notes on the Cha Cha

A somewhat related gay article is this one about asking HK medical doctors to be more welcoming to gay patients.

Related Post

Bruce Lee was Arrogant and a Bully and a C…

Friday 13 May 2016

1744 HKSAR Name of the Day

Chelsea Ho Ka-po, Choi Hung, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 12 May 2011)

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Wednesday 11 May 2016

1743 HKSAR Name of the Day

Ringo Chan, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 4 May 2011)

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Name Category: Rare; Somewhat common in Hong Kong

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Monday 9 May 2016

1742 HKSAR Name of the Day

Philomena Leung, for secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs (i.e. Stephen Lam), Hong Kong Government (SCMP letters 9 May 2011)

Greek origin; the meaning of Philomena is "powerful love"

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Saturday 7 May 2016

Tuesday 3 May 2016

1739 HKSAR Name of the Day

Wennita Fong I-lam (Ms), academic head of Prime English Learning Centre, Hong Kong

How does one pronounce her name?
Don't you just love Hong Kong people's novel names?

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Reference (SCMP free, open access)

Hongkongers fail everyday English pronunciation test: lack of spoken skills ‘shocking’ and ‘disappointing’

No one got full marks in the test, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage in the highly competitive job market

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 April, 2016, 8:18pm

Is “admirable” pronounced as “ADmuhruhbuhl” or “adMAIRuhbuhl” or “adMEERuhbuhl”?
If you got it wrong – the answer is the first option – despair not as you are just part of the 97.7 per cent of Hongkongers who mispronounce the word, according to an English pronunciation test conducted on working adults in the city.

The test quizzed 300 people aged above 18 who had an educational level of at least Secondary 5 – with some undergraduates and postgraduates – in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok on the pronunciation of 10 commonly used English words, including “admirable”.
Nearly half of the respondents scored zero – something that is not at all admirable.
The number of people who got full marks? None, while only five managed to get 50 per cent of the pronunciations right.

The highest score, attained by just one person, was eight out of 10.

Wennita Fong I-lam, academic head of Prime English Learning Centre, which engaged market research company MPEG to conduct the test, said the results were “shocking” and “disappointing”.
The words picked for the test are generally used on a daily basis, such as when communicating with friends or colleagues, or in the news or movies.

She pointed out that the errors came mainly from placing the stress on the wrong syllable, using the wrong vowels and not being familiar with loan words, which are words adopted from a foreign language with little or no modification.

Fong also said the standard of English pronunciation in Hong Kong had been falling, adding it could be caused by incorrect pronunciation by primary and secondary teachers and the prevalence of internet slang.

She warned that Hongkongers’ job competitiveness would be hampered if English pronunciation standards were not raised, citing examples of how the centre’s students said they had been placed in a position of disadvantage in job interviews and when being considered for promotion because their English pronunciation was lacking.

“One student even pointed out that he felt threatened by his mainland colleagues’ better English standards,” Fong added.

A Hong Kong senior manager at a multinational bank said impression counted and speaking good English was a criterion when hiring.

“Recently, I was hiring a management trainee and interviewed seven candidates. There were three local graduates but they all could not pass my interview. One of the reasons was that their English was not so good,” he said.

But it is not all doom and gloom for Hongkongers.
Fong said to improve on English pronunciation, it was important to know the standard and distinguish between right and wrong.

She added that Hongkongers had the advantage of starting to learn English at a young age compared with mainland counterparts, and having a serious attitude when they wanted to improve on their skills.
Her centre saw a 20 per cent increase in enrolment from seven to eight years ago, with more than 1,000 students now.

Lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching, a proficient English speaker who has also been critical about Hong Kong’s falling English standards and usage, believed that English education in Hong Kong focused too much on grammar and writing, with not much emphasis on speaking the language.
“English is not just an academic pursuit, it is a living language – a part of our lives. Teachers should add more oral components to their classes in a relaxed atmosphere, like chatting about daily life,” she said.


Sunday 1 May 2016

1738 HKSAR Name of the Day

Shara Ng, 49, a secretary who shunned meat as her meditative practise required a "compassionate" diet, Hong Kong

meaning of the name Shara is "princess; a fertile plain".

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