Talk:Speak Good English Movement

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Former good article Speak Good English Movement was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 23, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
April 24, 2014 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Different standards of English[edit]

I can't speak for the movement, but good English need not be defined as being British. If, for example, a Singaporean wants to do business with an American, he'd be well-advised not to use fortnight which, though acceptable British usage, isn't part of American English. Two weeks is OK in British and American English and might be called part of standard English.

ahh.... i think the last line is a bit racist, POV and just stereotypical... i think it should be removed. an also to the guy above fortnight is used in america, and two weeks is used as well in english based on the british version, it really just depends from person to person. Australian Jezza 07:45, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

"Grammatical correctness"[edit]

Here's how the article starts (after markup-stripping):

The Speak Good English Movement (SGEM) is a language movement in Singapore to encourage Singaporeans to speak grammatically correct English

It continues in the same vein, talking credulously about "good" and "grammatically correct" English in contradistinction to what a lot of Singaporeans speak.

Have the Singaporeans whose Singlish/English is thought to be in need of improvement learned this language as a first language? If so, they'll be native speakers of it and therefore it will be grammatically correct in its own terms, just as any native lect of English, even a stigmatized mesolect, is grammatically correct.

If the purpose of this campaign is to have Singaporeans speak something closer to standard transatlantic or British English, then this does make sense (whatever I may think of its desirability). And if Singaporean politicians, teachers, and other non-linguists believe that nonstandard equals substandard, then this (mistaken) belief merits mention in an encyclopedia. However, for this WP article to suggest that deviations from "standard" English (whichever standard it may be) are "incorrect" or "wrong" would fly in the face of consensus among linguists and do a disservice to readers. -- Hoary (talk) 08:31, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

That sentence is a direct quote from the official SGEM site, and I've now labeled it as such. IMHO the quality of the article has gone down despite/because of the GA push, virtually everything is parroted verbally and uncritically from government sources. Jpatokal (talk) 09:39, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Regarding TOC and credibility[edit]

TheOnlineCitizen isn't a mere online comment site. In 2011, TOC was gazetted as a political association and is registered as a media outlet under the Media Development Authority. See http://theonlinecitizen.com/theonlinecitizen-team/ , see also http://www.seapabkk.org/component/content/article/22-seapa-reports/100585-singapore-historic-elections-inspire-hope-for-freer-expression.html , and see

Put back this sentence in my previous edit after its removal: In an exclusive interview with The Online Citizen, one of the Singapore's key social commentary websites, its unnamed founder directly called into question Dr Balakrishnan's appeal about the SGEM.[1]

Article comments[edit]

Per request, I'm adding some comments on here that could help move the article closer to GA status:

  • The structure is the big problem; it's mostly a slew of list pieces year to year, and the article feels stunted as a result. Converting the lists to prose and making it more readable in that regard would be a big help.
  • Quite a few quotes are unreferenced, as are most of the programmes.
  • For that matter, I don't think noting every program is all that useful. Perhaps just noting the most significant ones would be better. If all are necessary, then the first point applies, it needs to be meshed into the prose better.

That alone should be enough to work with to start out. Wizardman 23:20, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ “Please stop hum-tumming Singlish! Just leebit alone!” – The Online Citizen, 17 September 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010