In modern days, we seldom hear the saying: A man's word is his bond. (In the olde days, before the domination of the feminism cause outwardly demonstrated by bra-burning! when we said "man", it denoted both genders were represented. Of course then the third classification like homosexuals had not inruded into public consciousness in a big way. Like socialists once, they remained in the closet. This early digression is just for explanation purposes as background.)
So in the world of commerce in the old days, businessmen entered into verbal contracts and most times, there were no major breaches. Because then a man's word was his bond. And gentlemen seldom broke their bonds.
Forward to the 20th and 21st centuries, man had to rely on lawyers to bind their agreements. It made the solicitors very happy and courts became too busy and under-staffed as even with written contracts, more people did not keep to their word. Or the sipirit of it. Words are mere "closest approximations" of the intentions of two signee parties to an agreement, and some smart lawyers wrote in "loop holes" in small print to exact an advantage for their clients.
So I pose to my Esteemed Readers today: Do you seem to find that nowadays, people don't mean what they say in general?
That's my stance and inference speaking from experience. Hence you hardly hear any reiteration of the highly esteemed boaste from the olde days: A man's word in his bond.
First, I can accept it if a person, because of his poor command of the language used in communication, he said something other than what wanted to mean. That is: he does not have any intention to mislead or deceive the other party. This is the absence of bad faith -- mala fide as said in legalese? -- and therefore the speaker could be excused if he was deemed to have not meant what he said.
But coming from a person conversant or well-versed in the language, then there is NO EXCUSE!
(Desi will continue later as he has to break for makan-makan, Helen -- hoRst of allofhelen.blogspot.com -- whispered to remind Desi it's way past runchdime awe the way from Ipoh!:) @1.48pm...
Strange Interlude: Mr Coww and I wandered into the cinetheque at TerminalOne (gas w'ear?) after a quikkie for some air-cond comfort in the heat of the Malaysian siesta time (we got more than what we bargained for -- it was chilling, maybe 15 degrees Celcius!) Well, the movie was "The Brave One" snd Jodie Foster was ery much the "adult" version of her in "Taxi Driver" decades back when she won an Oscar (Right?) starring alongside Robert de Nero.Second digression, which is a Blogger's privilege to abuse, so why not become one? No, don't become an abuse victim, become a blogger! I'd continue with this Inter:nude cometh Sundae if I survive the chill:)
So, as I was saying, "A man's Word Is His Bond" dictum nowadays is sorely tested, and many not-so-manly human beings fail the test, IMHO-lah.
I can forgive such instances when it's the lack of command of the language that causes an adult to not mean what he says:
* Educated mainly in Tamil, he made a speech in English and instead of "meaning to say" he's condident he could do the job if given a chance to prove himself; he said: "I can prove able to do the job confidently."
** Educated in Mandarin, he made a statement in English that his father wanted him to become an engineer but he was disappointed by qualifying as a proud scientist; by he meant to say that although he could have disappointed his father who wished he studied to become an engineer, he was nevertheless proud to qualify as a scientist.
In both instances, I believe the speakers did have some language "deficiency" and hence could not find the right way or words to express himself clearly. The result was that the speakers' meaning of their intended message was not properly conveyed. But there was no intention to mislead.
But in Malaysia, when it comes to leaders and newsmakers being reported in the media, especially mainstream, we often suspect the speakers have not been honest or sincere. As well put by many Bloggers, the leaders, especially politicians -- both Government and Opposition, but by default more of the former in that they are given more coverage! These politicians often say things just to please the audience for the moment, but later their actions often contract their words.
Do I need to give examples?
Okay, I'll try, but you can beg to differ for we are still a democratic society, though if you gather in groups of more than five at the mamak tehtarik stall, you can be detained under the ISA.
* Remember the leader promises to deliver a transparent and accountable government?
Between talk and action for the past four years, the people's "trust" in that leader's words has dwindled for sure because many listeners have heard the message but don't seethe actions in tandem with the expressed intentions. In sort, the leaders don't mean what they say!
* Haven't all the CEOs of listed companies assured their shareholders that "the shareholders' interests" would enjoy the highest priorityin the company's scheme of things and the management would do their level best to add value to their shares?
Hey, note that the bosses still help themselves with high emoluments and bonuses even when the companies don't perform. Worst yet, the bosses would "unload" their own shares while publicly expressing confidence in the company's prospects going forward. "Going forward" is a favourite phrase with corporate leaders, and do you believe they mean to take the companies forward most times? ask the many "retail" investors who land up burnt or "carryi
So art thou surprised that there exists a close and intimate nexus among Bigwig Politicians and Business Tycoons. (By contrast, Desi is a small businessman running a freelance writing venture and lives in a BIG two-story house:)
Anyone out there wanna answer the BN leaders', led by the PM, famous calls in leading NegaraKu towards Vision 2020:
"Let's Fight Corruption. Let's Promote Integrity."
"Talk To Me. Work With Me!"
I believe some idiotic leaders truly mean what they preach to their Eat, Drink and Be Merry youths:
"Come on board the bandwagon. We'll make you a multi-millionaire by 27!"