Don't get stuck in deep end of 'pond'

I used to know the Hollywood actress/pin-up model Veronica Lake when she was a Pond.

It's yours to refudiate (apologies to Ms Sarah Palin), but I'm just sayin'.

Ergo, "pond" means small; smaller than, say, rivers of water caused by flooding.

The PUB has introduced a new term - ponding - to describe the unwanted pooling of water (for example, Orchard Road after a heavy downpour).

"Ponding" is a legitimate word to describe typically pooling of water on surfaces such as a flat roof. Orchard Road is neither flat nor a roof.

Did an in-charger receive a Roget's Thesaurus for Christmas or what?

To quote Mr Rudolf Flesch, developer of Reading Ease, "omit useless words, omit useless words, omit useless words".

Learn from Hugh Grant - he came clean on prostitute Divine Brown and the world forgave him - and tell it like it is, and then we can all wade through it together.

Don't dive into the lexicon and drown us instead with empty prose. Recognise the problem and check the readability; style statements only serve to frustrate.

Jane Austen and Charles Dickens couldn't write a sentence of less than 40 words. You know which era they're from, right?

In our age of twitface, keep it simple.

When you say "ponding", I'm guessing it's okay to go to Orchard Road because it's not completely covered by water. Keep it real.

Here, then, is The New Paper Decoder for navigating terms and phrases and words from BureauSpeak.

- Technical glitch. This goes hand in glove with "accountability". At the moment, there's no one around to explain what happened, much less someone to take the blame.

- Localised chokes. Just the longkang outside your house blocked, not widespread, can still go out.

- Unapproved temporary drainage. Oh, contractor makan swop, issit?

- No flood alerts. Call Hossan Leong, maybe he's heard something.

Enough of being such a wet blanket, 2011's list of buzzwords include:

- Occupy. Then: What you used to shout from public toilet cubicle when someone tried the door. Now: Protest.

- Arab Spring. Revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen. Once upon a time, your dream holiday destinations.

- Royal wedding. We get it, we get it, enough already about Pippa Middleton's derriere.

- Tiger mum. Do you remember when your mother would rub some balm on your upper lip to ward off a cold? Now she's just plain cold when you score 99.9 for maths.

- Retweet. Or RT. When you can't contain an item of news (or gossip) and need to pass it on. If you thought it was Sylvester upchucking Tweety, OMG you're so last century.

- Fascinator. As "ponding" is to "flooding", fascinator is to hat.

- "Bunga bunga" and "deficit". Separate and celebrate the difference between Silvio Berlusconi and Angela Merkel.

- (Going) viral. In Singapore, uh-oh, social media is awash with negative comment about the Gahmen.

- Quantitative easing. Print money, right?

- Epic fail. When SMRT kept commuters in the dark. And when a Member of Parliament slipped up.

- Extraordinary rendition. Oh, for the days of karaoke when you tried to give an extraordinary version of My Heart Will Go On, never realising what torture it was for your friends to listen to it in an enclosed space.

Today, the term still means kidnap and torture, but not necessarily within the confines of a KTV lounge.

- Aha moment. A moment of clarity, as experienced last year by Kim Kardashian, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

- Man-up. What the above trio did, after.

This article was first published in The New Paper.