Showing posts from September, 2009

On SMSs and spelling

Scientific American's 60-Second Psych podcast points out an interesting study from the academic journal Reading and Writing that shows that texting / SMSing does not have any impact on spelling ability . Indeed, apparently those who spell well in standard English spell well in "textese". When I posted this link on Facebook, I got a couple of queries on whether the results worked for those for whom English is not a first language. I don't know, but it seems that the same complaint on "textese" apparently affecting spelling is common in environments where English is the primary language, which is probably why there was even interest in the experiment. So I would certainly not rule out the idea that something other than "textese" is affecting standards of spelling, and that there is some confusion of correlation and causation. Another possible cause, for example, could be a general reduction in the value that society as a whole places on spelling, pe

Same old show

Tessa Wong's piece on how every mall in Singapore tends to have the same shops these days is right on the money. Although it leads to questions about whether malls should be the sites of diversity, versus individual shops that extend out onto the street. Even the festival markets of the US - Quincy Market etc. - seem to have lots of chains in my experience. As an aside in this Jane Jacobs vein: I do like that the ground-level shops of Ion and Orchard Central have doors that actually open out onto the street, rather than just a window display that forces you to enter the mall first. I'm not sold on the luxury goods being sold at Ion, but this is a good trend. The most interesting shopping centres in Singapore to me are the old ones - Peninsula Plaza and Shopping Centre, Far East Plaza (and Far East Shopping Centre, come to think of it), Tanglin Shopping Centre. All these old shops, selling niche products and services.

District 10

Saw that District 10, the restaurant, was reviewed in the Sunday Times today. Agree that their ribs could do with a touch less mustard. But my pressing question is: why is it called District 10 when its postal sector is 22 and thus it is very much in District 9?

Top 10 of the 2000s

Yeah, it's a bit early and opinions may change by December, but this is my current round up of the decade, largely on artistic merit, with the inevitable dollop of the personal: Albums: The Postal Service - Give Up Feist - Let It Die Arcade Fire - Funeral Jose Gonzalez - Veneer Sufjan Stevens - Illinois Ryan Adams - Gold The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic The Streets - Original Pirate Material The Avalanches - Since I Left You Outkast - Stankonia Singles: The Postal Service - "Such Great Heights" Ryan Adams - "Answering Bell" The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Bang" Outkast - "Hey Ya!" Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy" Eminem - "Stan" Kanye West - "Gold Digger" Arcade Fire - "Rebellion (Lies)" Sufjan Stevens - "Casimir Pulaski Day" Death Cab for Cutie - "I Will Follow You into the Dark"