Apparently, residents of Kent Vale Block I can look forward to at least four more months of not having working screens in the elevators to tell us what floor we’re on. Sigh.
The sign maker missed out (left out) the word “any” in “Sorry for any inconvenience caused.” Whoever it was gets full marks for using “subject to” correctly, though. And for using the noun form “inconvenience” and not the adjective, as in “Apologies for any inconvenient caused,” which I have also seen.
That’s a perfect example of a plural noun being used to modify another noun, like “cutleries station”, except that “hours” is a legit plural and “cutleries” is not.
I think the sign should say
24-Hour Hot Line
because I think it’s better to modify nouns with singular nouns, even when there are twenty-four of the noun in question.
On an unrelated note:
I don’t know why Singapore phone numbers often don’t have hyphens where I’d expect to see them. I think we Americans pretty consistently put a hyphen in 1-800, and we put them after the first three digits of a seven-digit phone number, so I always expect to see one after the first four digits of the eight-digit phone numbers here. Sometimes there’s a space, sometimes there’s a period (“full stop”), sometimes there’s just nothing.
Shortly after we moved to Singapore in 2008, my husband and I bought a big flat-screen television. The movie Red Cliff II was being used to demo the screens in all the shops we visited, so we named our television “Cliff”.
Until now, though, neither of us ever watched either of the two movies. I decided it was time to check them off the list of DVDs we own of movies we’ve never seen.
There’s a version that combines the two movies into one; that’s not what we’ve got. We’ve got the two-part version of Red Cliff that was released in Singapore. The audio is in Mandarin and English subtitles are available.
Honestly, though, half of the movie doesn’t even have subtitles because nobody’s talking, thus there’s nothing to translate.
I am starting to think that maybe a lot of Chinese movies have a common plot structure that requires a long buildup in which we go around meeting all the characters and forming some kind of alliance, so that later each of them can do whatever he’s known for doing as part of the group effort to overcome the enemy. I called this “collect the whole set” in Kung Fu Yoga, which I recently watched, but Shaolin Soccer also took what I thought was an unusually long time to get going. Maybe it’s not unusual after all.
I could try to make some kind of point about individualistic vs. collective social philosophy (or about martial-arts mashup movie titles), but I think it would be misplaced. Chinese movies with a group of protagonists still have a central hero, and Hollywood movies sometimes have a group or coalition of protagonists. The difference I’m noticing is a superficial one of how long it takes to meet all the characters: a quarter of the movie, or half of it. In either case, the midway point marks a significant upping of the stakes.
Keep reading for a plot summary with SPOILERS as well as a list of the main characters and a surprising observation about one of them.
If you thought “a la carte” was the opposite of “buffet”, think again!
I think the idea is that you pay a fixed price (in this case $25), and then you get to request as many things as you want from the buffet menu to be brought to your table.
I heartily recommend Jang Won Korean Restaurant. I’ve never ordered the a la carte buffet, though; I always get the dol sot bi bim bab (hot stone bowl fried rice).
What about that adverb phrase?
All Day Available
Available All Day
because this is short for “Our a la carte buffet is available all day”.
The adverb phrase “all day” modifies the whole statement, so it would have to go at the very beginning or the very end, and it’s better to put it at the end because “all day” is what we want to emphasize most, and whatever is at the end of the sentence is what gets the most attention.
What makes this example interesting is that it raises another issue: whether we use singular or plural nouns as “noun adjuncts” or “attributive nouns”.
In other words, which is correct?
Obviously, the machine would contain more than one drink, so using the plural is more “logical”, but it sounds horrible to me. Wikipedia says that the singular (or the possessive) is traditional in most cases, but that plurals are gaining ground.
I’ve seen several (many?) signs in Singapore that say “Children Playground” rather than “Children’s Playground”, which is doubly silly since those signs should probably just say “Playground” anyway.
If you think “Children Playground” sounds awful, don’t laugh too hard. Whoever named the 2002 romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice neglected to include an apostrophe after “weeks”, unleashing a wave of scornful critique from movie-going fussbudgets. Apparently, educated native speakers working in the media and entertainment industries, even if they don’t misuse singulars and plurals, still struggle to distinguish plurals from possessives when modifying nouns with other nouns.