A Greeting Wish?

The Malaysian English or Manglish is unique. We seem to make our own rules. We tend to modify the use of words that native speakers might find odd. Two such words are “wish” and “greet“. I’m sure your mom or dad has ticked you off by saying:

  • Why didn’t you wish me this morning? Where are your manners?

Isn’t that familiar? Is there anything wrong there? Yes, the word “wish” should instead be replaced with “greet“. It is sufficient to say: “Why didn’t you greet me this morning? Where are your manners?

  • * wish (v.)to express hope of success, happiness or pleasure on a certain occasion
  • greet (v.)to address s0meone with some form of salutation, to welcome

* Take note that the word “wish” has other meanings, too. For this post, let’s just focus on just one meaning.

Examples:

  1. We wished every one a Happy New Year. ( = hope for every one’s happiness for the new year)
  2. Let me wish you every success in your endeavours. ( = hope for your success )
  3. I was greeted with a bow when I arrived at the door. ( = welcome by bowing )
  4. It is polite to greet anyone we meet. ( = address that person by calling his name etc. when you meet him )

Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to say:

  1. Did you wish your teacher today? (X)
    Did you greet your teacher today? (√)
  2. I greet my parents good night every day. (X)
    I wish my parents good night every day. (√)

I wish to wish every one a Happy New Year. May this greeting bring cheer to every one’s face. 😛

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Posted on January 21, 2010, in Word Power and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. yes, this greeting does bring cheer and smile to me. 🙂

  2. We WISH you GongXiFaCai and looking forward to GREET the New Lunar Year of the Tiger very soon. TQ

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