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Speak no evil

As you've probably been following over the last years, there have been a lot of complaints in Singapore over the youngins' excessive use of Singlish.

Likewise, Manglish is now under attack in Malaysia, only the Malaysian government is a lot more serious about stamping out the colloquial wordshake: two parts local dialects, one part English.

According to an article last week in the International Herald Tribune, "Malaysia may levy fines on people who mangle the national language on signs and posters, and deploy monitors to ensure that speakers at official functions don't improperly mix Malay with English."

Look out! They're talking about 1,000-ringgit fines (that's $271 to you and me). In other words: they mean business. Just to give you an idea of what else is forbidden in Malaysia, I did a little poking around online and came up with this nifty list:

Sodomy, spitting, littering, blowing your nose in public and any kind of sports betting (except horse racing!): all illegal. It's also strictly forbidden to publish any materials that may incite religious anger. "Pure English," it should be noted, will continue to be permitted in Malaysia, although good luck to the monitors in defining such.

After the jump, you'll find some of my favorite Manglish words/expression -- those the government is trying to root out -- which I've edited together from a couple different sources, but mostly from Wiki:

kapster - a nosy or talkative person; can be also used as an adjective, e.g., "I hate them because they are so kapster." Contraction of the Malay verb "cakap", to speak, plus -ster (probably from analogy with English words such as "trickster").

maluation - embarrassment, from Malay "malu" + English "-ation"

outstation - out of town (e.g., going outstation).

terrer - (pronounced as the English "terror") Refers to someone or something being awesomely amazing or good (e.g., "Bloody hell, that guy is terrer!").

slumber - relaxed, laid-back; possibly a conflation of the Malay "selamba", meaning nonchalant, and the English "slumber".

on/off - to turn something on or off, respectively (e.g. "Don't forget to off the fan.")

tumpang-ing - riding in someone else's vehicle or lodging at someone else's house, from the Malay verb "tumpang" + "-ing"

(any Malay word) + "ing" - doing a certain action ("Tengah makan" or "I'm eating right now" is shortened to "Makan-ing")

best/syok - indicates the object as superlatively good.

die/finish/gone/habis/mampus/mampui/sei - generic exclamations to indicate "trouble", used like the English "damn it" or "to face the music" (e.g. Today he die because of that loan shark). "sei" is usually pronounced as its Cantonese equivalent, "die".

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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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holidays
Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
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For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

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