The game of keep-away

Heaven knows I’m not a language prescriptivist. I’m one of those people who like using “they” in the singular on purpose because English lacks a gender-neutral 3rd person pronoun for adults. But I really can’t get my way around some of the annoying and weird ways Singaporeans use English (I’m from across the Causeway; grew up in an English-speaking family and went to Malay school so I suppose Chinese-ed Malaysians might do some of the same annoying things).

Like the use of “keep” for “put away” – this happened in the surgery waiting room when I went for Lasik last November:
Nurse: Keep your spectacles.
Me: OK. [Continues wearing specs]
[2 minutes later]
Nurse: I said keep your spectacles. Keep your spectacles in your bag!
Me: Oh…

Also, the use of “bullets” for “staples” and “zap” for “photocopy” makes office work sound quite violent. I wonder if any hapless US Americans or other US-educated foreigners mistakenly put some important documents in the shredder upon being told to zap them…

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