In his first public comment on the canine proliferation in Singapore, PM Lee's advice is to maintain a certain balance and not get worked up every time someone misspeaks."
At first glance the word seems to be taken directly out of the Orwellian lexicon of Newspeak, the fictional language in George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four", a deliberately impoverished language promoted by the state. Closely based on English, it has a greatly reduced and simplified vocabulary and grammar. This suits the totalitarian regime of the Party, whose aim is to make any alternative thinking impossible by removing any word or possible construct which describes the ideas of freedom, rebellion and so on. One character in the book, Syme, says admiringly of the shrinking volume of the new dictionary: "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words."
The Merriam dictionary actually defines it as:
1: to speak (as a word) incorrectly
2: to express (oneself) imperfectly or incorrectly
MG "keechiu" Chan Chun Sing's own take on the same PRC scholar utterance preaches, "We must never justify the comment by responding to it in a manner that validates the comment." Now that could easily be misconstrued as cocking a snook at Baey Yam Keng's infamous repartee, "I think first of all, these are behaviours (sic) that this gentleman has picked up. We need to reflect upon ourselves, are we the way they described?" Did MG Chan mis-speak, or was it Baey, self -acclaimed somebody at a top PR company, who mis-spoke? Frankly, we don't give a hoot what these pups are yapping about, all that bothers us is that if they don't say what they mean, how can they ever mean what they say?
Yesterday PM Lee was reminded of what he told Lianhe Zaobao in April 2011, that he would not use by-elections to bring in losing candidates who contested in the GE, "as elections were a serious matter". Asked if he still held the same view, he said "I have to see what exactly I told Zaobao, the circumstances then. It would depend on the situation." Whether he mis-speak or mis-spoke, one thing's for certain, plenty of guys will be getting worked up.