I was looking back at some old writing material emailed to me by a friend for a TV series script we previously worked on, and I noticed that in his emails he writes like a 15 year old.
That being said, I have nothing against it. His stories are very well written and I have learned a thing or two from some of his stuff, but the flip side of the coin is his email writing. Non-existing words such as ‘da’ (the), ‘bcuz’ (because), ‘rem’ (remember… I think), etc, are constantly used. It was basically teenage texting language in an email.
When I was 15, I was definitely guilty of such words. But when I started taking script writing seriously, I was told to respect words. So… I began writing in full, even in text messages. If I want to save space, I don’t write short forms, I kill the spaces between full stops. That is me… then and now.
But honestly, I have nothing against writers letting loose. I do it sometimes in the form of Manglish. That’s Malaysian English in which a mix of Chinese, Malay, and English words form a sentence. I don’t do it all the time of course, but I do it with ‘certain’ friends.
Now, you’re probably wondering, ‘How does Manglish sound like?’ Here are some examples of sentences I’ve actually used:
‘Reclick ah? So easy hor, like computer.’
‘Since when oh.. your memory rusty liao.’
‘Yea. The old one no more.’
‘Got bf still got time for friends ok.. where got layan bf only one.’
‘Now you say.. next time leh?’
I should stop before your head hurts. If I find a book written entirely in Manglish, I would… throw it away. It is not a language to be extremely proud of, but it is something I’ve grown up with. I don’t love it, but I embrace it.
In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with taking a break and forgetting about grammar or spelling. After all, it’s always fun to let loose. But remember… do it in moderation.