Eenie meenie miney ... moe!
NO, it’s not about the Justin Beiber music video. I’m harking back to when we used the above nonsensical but fun-sounding counting rhyme, in our various tag games. Remember? It appears to be still in popular use, even if not in children’s games.
All right, I’m sure you want to know what I’m on about.
It got me again – this fetish for particularity, and so off I went on a massive newspaper-word-hunt (ageing eyes notwithstanding!) for words with moe in them. All of one day’s work with the Sunday Star, Oct 2 issue.
Phew! It sure took time to scour the Sunday issue – what with all its attendant pullouts – to ferret out the said words. Insane? I nearly flipped out! But I had to feed my fetish; what can I say? Except that now I’d like to tag you.
Come, play this game. They are ordinary words used in wide-ranging contexts (from newspaper stories) but what makes them special for us MOE (Mind Our English) readers is that they all have moe in them!
All sentences have been lifted from the said issue of the paper. Supply the correct moe-embedded word that you think had been used in each case. Enough context is provided to help you. Hey, I also provide page headings for further clue, or, in case you’re crazy enough to go to your stack of surat khabar lama (old newspapers) to sniff out the precise words yourself.
Oh, all right, I’ll play a somewhat generous cikgu (teacher) and provide (no, not answers!) a list of the words used (42 in number; no peeking first, you hear?). Some are simple while a few may prove challenging for some people. Students, give it a try. Then check with your teachers, or with anyone proficient in English.
Eenie, meenie, miney, moe … off you go! You’ve been tagged!
1. “If you tell your child she See if you can fill in the blanks with words that have in them. has to speak in her ___ tongue to remember her grandfather’s past, she may not want to do so.” ( Focus: Penang’s link with ocean made waves)
2. “One can never be complete. If you are, then there’s no incentive to change or ___,” he concluded. ( Star2, Style)
3. It was a magnificent ___ when Guna lifted Ramli and spun him. (-do - Arts)
4. His film credits include … and the upcoming … , a ___ horror ___ ... (-do - Spotlight)
5. In fact ___ physics is built on the pillars of relativity and quantum mechanics … . ( Dots, Science & Nature)
6. “It’s ___, no one can leave their luggage behind,” he said, sitting with his family in front of a tent they live in. (-do -)
7. Such a ___ would be, above all, a humanitarian gesture … . ( Dots, Think)
8. He looked into the mirror and tweezed out the grey hairs from his ___. ( Star2, Heart & Soul)
9. I thought they were doctors … who would step in … to control the amount of ___ and painkillers administered. ( Dots, Asia File)
10. My loud-___ colleague constantly picks on people and would blurt out ... . ( Clove, October, Lifestye)
11. Sharkar: “The _____ is building up for the PM. ( Focus)
12. “We also believe there is little chance that the PBOC ( People’s Bank of China) will tighten ___ policy in the remainder of 2011.” ( Dots, Money)
13. “The real world makes me feel ___ … a computer malfunction, a sobbing child, a suddenly dead cell phone battery – the littlest hitch in daily living feels profoundly ___. ( Clove, Lifestyle)
14. But at least that couturial curiosity was radically something. None of the men’s wear I saw during the Fashion Week was even ___ that. (-do -)
15. The command for us to be kind and ___ at all times, the duty of a man … to be just and fair … are just a few of these. ( Focus)
16. Mr Sivasubramaniam said the topic was ___ and the school authorities should cancel the composition test. ( Note: What composition test, you might ask. Get this: “Pupils told to write on teacher they hate most”! – Reliving 40 years: Feb 21, 1986)
17. ACP Henry said police had classified the case as attempted homicide and were investigating the man’s ___. (-do - Oct 4, 1985)
18. Two Australians lost their appeal in the Supreme Court here today against the death sentence ___ on them by the Penang High Court … . (-do - Dec 19, 1985)
19. But what of the “___” who have burrowed into the higher echelons of the Government and have not been unmasked? (-do-Aug 5, 1981)
20. Ungku Aziz said ___ papers would be given to all schools … to increase their general knowledge … and express their thoughts in words. ( Educate, - do - Jan 14, 1986)
21. Superwoman’s fictional ___ was, of course, Kate Reddy, in Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It, … . ( Clove, Lifestyle)
22. Gold lame, gold sequins, gold ___ and gold baubles figured prominently in styles … at a moment of economic uncertainty. (-do - Stylefile)
23. I hope we do not have to resort to boot camp to have our children come rushing back to us, ___ and filled with indebtedness. ( Heart & Soul)
24. The United Nations Secretary General … in … summit to ___ the discovery of … in the fight against AIDS. ( Health At Large)
25. The women in Sanabis, … of the capital Manama … say there can be no ___ with a government that looks down on them … . ( Politics & Society)
26. Asian ___ of wine are becom- ing a force to be reckoned with. ( Star2, Taste)
27. The hand-crafted products are available in exotic skins and exclusive colours, and can be personalised with hand-___ monograms. (-do - People)
28. Luxury brand Mulberry has brought nostalgic seaside holiday ___ to London Fashion Week. (-do - Trends)
29. After all, I too was once a teenager with raging ___ and dubious tastes in literature … . (-do - Reads)
30. Other standouts include … which gives … a run for its ___ in terms of its singalong catchiness … . ( - do - Music)
31. In his speech … Wen pledged to address China’s biggest social issues, including rising inflation, ..., ___, … and social justice. ( World)
32. This extension of his signature calligraphic series takes a new organic stance … to convey a richness of ___ that in turn … evolution of faith. ( Star2, Art)
33. They are at once heavy yet light despite their ___ scale. (-do -)
34. The Skoda Superb hides a strong performance under its ___ exterior. (-do - Wheels)
35. “They should be given better increments or fewer teachers will be ___ to become senior assistants,” he says. ( Educate, News)
36. The linguistic minority has the same right as well as other ___, including … in a national-type school. (-do - Opinion)
37. Knowing how different sounds are made can help teachers effectively ___ and explain pronunciation. (-do - Exploring English)
38. “We have organised a ___ with Mat Motor as well as dialogues and discussions on issues that concern the young … . ( Focus)
39. When not properly tempered, cocoa butter can crystalise, causing the surface of the chocolate to appear ___ and matte. ( Star2, Taste)
40. I am ___ than words. (Advertisement) Words used momentum, impossible, promoters, monetary, moles, compromise, demonstrate, improper, impotent, motive, embodiment, remorseful, unemployment, jamboree, mottled, moment, moustache, compassionate, embossed, imposed, movement, minorities, monster, move, morphine hormones, modern, commemorate, monumental, money, motivated, improve, embroidery, memories, remotely, mother, mouthed, modest, movie, model, disempowering, more