Men are very fickle creatures. When he is dating a SYT, leggy, fair skin, face all ‘doink-doink’ and errmmm everywhere else too, every word from you is heavenly music to his ears. He will smothered you with iccky, diabetes causing sentences. ‘I lub u’ is cute then. Nothing you do is ever wrong and everything about you is perfect.
But after two decades of partnership, suddenly ‘I lub u’ is responded with “You got ‘chow leng tai’. Let me explain what ‘chow leng tai’ is. In English it means tongue-tied whereby a person’s pronounciation is not very clear probably because the tongue is not meant to roll and twist for pronouncing words clearly. Oh yeah, I have that, but it hasn’t bothered me a single bit.
However, it can be frustrating sometimes when the kids and the man at home kept pulling your legs. They will hear something else when I was talking about another thing. Oh well, this did not bother me much because I have a lion heart. I had emceed my ex-company annual dinners for 2 years, was in the debate team at school, gave public talk on breastfeeding a few times and heck, I had even went up to the podium in a doctors’ seminar.
Funny thing is only yesterday I realised that I had improve a whole lot in this department. Since a few months back, I had joined the cathedral choir. We are a big group of 40-50 people in a very, errmm, professional singing group. It is not child’s play to sing with these veterans and every word has to be pronounced correctly. All the ‘r’, ‘t’, ‘d’, ‘v’ has to be very, very clear. Our sometimes very garang choir-master can pick up a single voice in a sea of tenor, bass, altos, sopranos.
Then, I had also taken up the duty as a lector which is equally as frightening. About once or twice a month, I have to go up to the altar (podium) and read the Bible. It is the church’s policy that when we lectors proclaim the Word of God, there will be no LCD to show the church-goers what is being read. They have to listen and understand the words from the lectors. Therefore, the person has to be very clear in the pronounciation and using the right tone to drive home what is God’s Word for the day.
I cannot afford to mispronounce Jesus Christ as chises klist nor anything like that, can I? So, to overcome that, I put in a lot of discipline to practise reading at home, rolling my tongue at the right place at the right time. Both choir and lectoring have improved this ‘I lub u’ glitch tremendously.
However, I think this ‘I lub u’ syndrome is still cute, though. Don’t you think so?
**Addition : Check out this blog in Hokkien. Si peh khong kor thak.