Behavioural Semiotics: “Relationship Eggnalogies”

Emanisms: Behavioural Semiotics: “Relationship Eggnalogies”

By Eman Lim

I love people and I love food, and putting together my domain expertise in Behavioral Semiotics and Cooking I’ve come up with some Egg analogies that would sum up a few universal experiences most of us would have encountered for interpersonal relationships of any kind, especially in our social lives.

Eggs though versatile are by nature fragile and delicate, so they need proper handling to make sure they don’t get wasted before they start the process of being made into experiential enrichment devices. So we have to also be mindful that the history of handling them before we start cooking has to be managed as well.

Now enough with the prelude and on to the real stuff…


1) Souffle – You gotta break a few eggs, throw out the yolks, add a whole lot a sugar, then whisk it furiously till it’s really frothy till it’s all just full of air, then bake it at the right temperature at just the right time and eat it within a certain time frame before it goes flat. Most of the time it doesn’t turn out right for some reason, and not everybody likes it cos it’s just sugar for taste and the main attraction is the texture of the souffle before it goes flat. Some people for some reason like it so much they keep coming back for more, even though it’s not really substantial and packed full of sugar which is not particularly the healthiest thing for them.

2) Omelette – You gotta break a few eggs, but you get to keep everything in, and you can put anything into it and mix it really simply and pour it into the pan and it’s really difficult to mess up unless you add too much salt or stuff you know isn’t good for you. It’s got a pretty good lifespan once it’s ready and because you can put almost anything you like or whatever you have into it you can keep it fresh and new or safe and simple to make the best of the situation every time. The more you put into it the more substantial it becomes.

3) Hard Boiled – Keeping everything inside till it’s boiled hard and the shell is only broken when it’s time to eat it on it’s own or when it’s time to fashion it into some other form for another dish that is usually more palatable and appetizing that can be appreciated by more people. Regardless of how it’s experienced, the shell has to be broken in order for it to be savoured. And when bits of shell are still stuck in the end products it’s not very enjoyable. Though there are instances where the shell is kept intact in some way for aesthetic purposes, it still needs to be separated from the filling to make the meal sufficiently pleasant for those experiencing it.

These three don’t cover everything and they aren’t meant to but hopefully they cover enough ground to help you in some way in getting started the next time you try to contextualise a relationship at work, at play or at home.

Bon Appetit peeps!


Improve English @ Kee Sun Task Force: Taking Down The “Double Confirm” Menace

*Puts on ‘Improve English at Kee Sun’ Task Force hat*

Hi Peeps!

I know that the “popularity” of the televised game show “We are Singaporeans” makes it seem acceptable to use the colloquial bastardization “double confirm” in written and verbal correspondences, but rest assured it is not acceptable if your intent is to use it in formal contexts for work. However if the intent is informal prose, then it’s your ‘pasal’ what you wish to do with it.

Similar to the propensity for civil servants to use “please revert” improperly in work related emails, turning perfectly fine technical correspondences into works of Singlish. If you are using “please revert”, please stop. ‘Revert’ means ‘turn back’ or ‘to change by reversal’. The proper terms to use include ‘respond’, ‘reply’ and even ‘confirm’. (Yes, at the office we have a betting pool on the number of times JTC sends us emails containing specifically “pls. revert” every month.)

If the intent is to attain assurance of an earlier confirmation, one may use proper terms from the vernacular such as “reconfirm”, “verify”, “confirm again”, “endorse” and “check”, which have context relevant uses and fairly versatile applications, without turning an entire email into Singlish by virtue of the inclusion of one instance of “double confirm”.

Thank you for your attention. Now go enjoy your weekend. Cheers! 😀

MatSpeak: “Eastern Standard Time”

“Eastern Standard Time” is an imported colloquial term referencing the propensity for tardiness amongst people residing in the Eastern side of Singapore.

The term was imported from the Timezone references of the North American Seaboard used in Hollywood movies.

The most common use of the phrase in daily Mat conversation is as a sarcastic tongue in cheek response to the question of why someone is late, as illustrated in the sample conversation below, English translation in brackets.

Mat A: Eh! Mana siak Fazli? Janji 2pm, ni dah pukul berapa ni? Masih belum sampai. (Hey! Where’s Fazli? He’s late for our 2pm appointment.)

Mat B: Standard…Members tinggal PaRis, Eastern Standard Time lah tu. Hahaha! (Same as usual…Dude stays in Pasir Ris, lives on Eastern Standard Time. *chuckles*)

From The Archives: “Vernacular Genesis: “Universal Local””

I coined the term “Universal Local” back in uni (2004), essentially it’s a synonym for “Citizen of the World” or “Global Citizen”, but going slightly further than that to imply that a “Universal Local” can live effectively almost anywhere in the world and integrate with the local community and society without augmenting the local culture and social environment to detrimental effect….i.e. someone who can blend in with the locals and function and be accepted as part of their community despite looking different and who doesn’t f*ck them up in the process.

From The Archives: “Vernacular Genesis: “CHEEMISTRY””

Cheemistry is a conjunctive noun, formed by the merging of the Singlish slang term “Cheem”, which approximates to “Complicated” in the English vernacular, and “Chemistry”, which should bloody well not need explanation.

The resultant, “Cheemistry”, is defined as, “the contextual discourse of Cheemness”.

“Cheemness” is a Singlish derivative slang term originating from the root “Cheem”, and which in this context is defined as “the state of being Cheem”. And is commonly used in conjunction with reference to level or degree of thereof, as shown in the illustrations, “degree of Cheemness” and “Cheemness levels”.

Additionally, “Cheemness”, when used as a noun, has applications of which may include such contextual application as in the case of the example, “His Royal Supreme Cheemness”.

Now that wasn’t very Cheem was it. [:O)

From The Archives: “Vernacular Genesis: About my process of”

For the people that know me well enough, they have come to accept that I genesize extra-vernacular terms rather prolifically, and to some extent come to expect that I would coin new terms that would more often than not be self explanatory.

The reason for this is the nature of my process of Vernacular Genesis. Vernacular Genesis which in itself self explanatory, it is as it implies, the phenomenon and process of which new terms are created and incorporated into regular vernacular. My process of Vernacular Genesis consists of three independent processes which respectively on their own or in any combination thereof result in the genesis of new terms.

The first, and most elementary process is the combining of existing vernacular terms in permutations of part or whole resulting in the formation of a new term.

The second process involves sensory cognisance, of which I utilize sensory manifestation of description to form a new term based on what it “feels like”.

The third process, which I call “random fluxing”, which is yet again self explanatory, basically it’s when I just think up random sounds and create meaning for them. Surprisingly, this process produces the most effective results, in that the absence of prior “baggage” makes it easier for the users to accept such terms.

Of course, it does help if you have a degree in applied communications and culture, people tend to assume you know what your doing and take you more seriously because of the presence of formal accreditation. As with every other academic published on three continents, of course I know what I’m doing, bloody flying by the seat of my bloody pants.

Vernacular Genesis: “Phober”

“Phober” ~ prn. fo-ber

“Phober” is a slang term I came up with to collectively refer to people with politically incorrect prejudices, such as but not limited to people that are Homophobic and Xenophobic.

It may also be used to refer to the mindset of a person who is prejudiced.

For example of the proper application of this term, it may be used in conversation to refer to a homophobe in a statements such as “That dude’s phober mindset, prevents him from accepting rational reality.” or “That phober’s actions were uncalled for.”.