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Friday May 22, 2009

Goodbye and thank you

I HATE goodbyes. I wish impermanence were not a feature of life. The Buddha is right — all things come to an end. But as I’m not a Buddhist, I find that hard to accept.

I have had a wonderful time starting the Mind Our English page on April 23, 2001, and keeping it going for the last eight years. But now I have to leave as retirement comes knocking on my door.

Today’s MOE is the last issue under my charge. It is with a heavy heart that I now leave the page to whomever takes over.

I wish to thank everyone who has given MOE and me encouragement over the years, especially readers of the page without whose support there would be no MOE.

Thank you for your e-mail, letters and other forms of correspondence.

Thank you for pointing out errors in public notices and flyers and brochures that we initially carried under the Boob Watch signpost and later switched to Look and Learn (for reasons I won’t disclose). Thank you for sharing experiences of the misuse of English that made us all laugh and learn.

Thank you for sending in your perspectives on issues related to English usage which have appeared in Open Channel. This often generated interesting and at times heated debates that were most welcome.

Thank you for helping to shed light on the quirkiness of English through providing your knowledge about it in Share and Help.

Thank you for the questions you posed to Fadzilah Amin.

Thank you for e-mail and letters challenging the editor and regular writers of MOE on certain issues and also pointing out our own errors. We accept them with the spirit of knowing that we are not infallible. This has all been a great learning process for everyone.

Of the people who have been contributing regularly, there are a good number I have to personally thank.

Foremost of them is Fadzilah Amin, who has been a rock of this page for her dedicated service in attending to Your Questions Answered ever since MOE began life eight years ago. She has consistently and untiringly answered all your questions on grammar, pronunciation, idioms, proverbs, etc, and even English translations of Malay words. She deserves a medal for her stamina and dedication.

I wish to also thank (in random order) Dr Lim Chin Lam who has been a mainstay of MOE all these years even before he started his column, Ramblings; Grant Barrett who writes Notes From The Language Underground out of New York City; Lydia Teh for Word’s Up, Eh Poh Nim?; Ellen Whyte for Logomania; Oh Teik Theam who has contributed much to our learning of grammar the fun way; S.H. Loke for Wordwise; Lucille Dass; Vance Carson; Lynne McGready; Marianna Pascal for English Fast & Easy; Bill Dielenberg; Sharon Bakar; Ralph Berry; Guy Perring; Christine Jalleh; Luke Teoh; John Evans; Mahid Masseluang; Wang Shaoming; Pola Singh; Devinder Raj; David Ong-Yeoh; Norma Alias; Hwa Mei Shen; Ivan Ho; Bulbir Singh; Amry Mohd Jamil; L.C. Yap; Muhammad Nasir Mustafa; Teoh Koong Eng; Audrey Lim; Hussaini Abdul Karim; Quah Beng Kee; David King; Catheryn Khoo; Sathyaseelan Tharmalingam; Bruce MacKinnon; Teh Sharifuddin; Juliana Phang; Juthika Dutt; Maarof Kassim; Hwa Shi-Hsia; U-En Ng; Allen Tan; Yong Ah Yong; Anselm Stanislaus; Chung Thian Sin; Dharm Navaratnam; Richard Tan Heng Kit; Radha Vengadasalam; Stephen Kau; Nirosha Sen; Hasmita Chander; Gavin Bong; Naleeni Das; Dr Sunny Tan Siew Bek; Virginia Cattell; Foong Kam Weng; Desmond C.K. Koh; John Wingfield; Kit Lum; Lorna Whiston; Jennifer Duarte ...

If I have inadvertently left anyone out, I apologise. There are simply so many who have helped to shape MOE. Allowing for diverse contributions to the page has been very important, and I can’t say often enough that these contributions are all deeply appreciated.

I hope MOE will continue for a long time more and provide useful service to Malaysians. I apologise for whatever mistakes I have made in these pages over the years, for whatever lapses in editorial judgement.

If you wish to chastise me, I shall from now on be contactable at ktchye@rocketmail.com. But please don’t send me e-C4s.

Finally, I’d like to wish everyone: Happy Minding Our English!

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