The callous use of a simple word

The Straits Times headlined, Passing of a Spore titan. And many other local media also reported on the passing of Dr Goh Keng Swee. The same news is being reported by overseas media but treated in a little careless or callous way. And their headlines read, Dr Goh Keng Swee dies, Goh Keng Swee dies, Dep PM Goh Keng Swee dies, …. There is nothing wrong or incorrect to say Goh Keng Swee dies. But reading it gives one a different feel of the event. He dies, you die, instead of he passes away, departed, called home to be with the Lord, you see, the latter sounds so different or at least polite. Imagine the media starts to report the king dies, the president dies, so and so’s father or mother dies, or the king is dead…. I still like to use more pleasant and civil terms like pass away, passing away and better still, called home to be with the Lord.


Anonymous said...

Pardon me Sir!

me thinks You're a little too fastidious.

'Die(s) is the easiest to understand, even little children know.

'To see the lord, be with the lord, goes to heaven' and all other niceties are used only by the people close to the dead.

How do You know that some will not tell the dead to go to hell, to rot and smell and something like 'should have died earlier' in their heart.

In any case, any nice word will not wake up the dead. Any word true from the heart will wake up and remind the successors of the demise to be mindful of deeds. I take that as a form of guide and advice.


Anonymous said...

Too much praise for Dr Goh makes someone uncomfortable. Tak boleh tahan, so runs to China.

Many have been brought up in the belief that a particular 'God' makes Singapore what it is today. Even my wife, of senior citizen status, thought so, until she saw the documentary on TV about the contributions of Dr Goh.

Funny isn't it.

agongkia said...

Mr Bean
Dr. Goh is not a petty man.If I die,just say Goh Ah Gong dies,Ah Gong Kia dies .Different countries have different culture and different ways of expression and we should not be too sensitive and feel that our way of expression is always the best. I agree that passing away sounds better here.To you ,you may prefer to use called home to be with the Lord.But to others ,Who is the Lord?
Maybe called home to be with my ancester would definitely sounds much better than saying call home to be with someone I have not met.A friendly interaction.
Pls dun feel offended.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The expression of the commoners is very simple. He dies. A statement of fact. No attachment.

I would expect the men and women of letters to craft words more carefully, which read can convey a message of respect or disregard or even contempt. Actually they do, and the chosen words for print are used carefully picked to say something more than meets the eyes.

All of us can die, no sweat. The Ah Pek or Ah Soh will scream, the king die already, die already....
: )

Jetreroy said...

I do not see a problem with that. Death is a reality people have to face all the time.

News should be factual and to the point. Save nice words for literature pieces (or maybe propaganda).

agongkia said...

But if I die one day ,I would still prefer those men and women of letters to say agongkia dies instead of saying agongkia is home to be with the Lord.
Why,my landLORD ask for rental fees before the date is due,
Go to Court,I have to plead with the magistrate,":my LORD,I have no money to pay and ask for adjournment.The LORD decide my future.To solve my financial problem,maybe only the drug LORD will pretend to help me by making use of me.....
So LORD is a taboo to people like me.I would be in trouble whenever
I get involve with them and do not want to associate with them.One fine day,Heng Ah,eventually my suffering is over,I am dead.Do you think I will be happy after death if one claim that I am call home to be with them ?

Anonymous said...

Whe the Lords lord over You, then one starts to curse the Lords.



Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Got to agree with you guys. Once there is a Lord, the Lord will lord over you.