Catchy slogans for 'betterer' results
UNTIL labour chief Lim Swee Say came along, there were no phrases like "betterer than betterest".
He had also created snappy catchphrases like "cheaper, better, faster" and "upturn the downturn", and gamely used them in public speeches to make a point.
While the made-up words and phrases have attracted some criticism, Mr Lim said he had done so to communicate complex problems to the average worker.
"I do this not because I have fun doing this... and not to spoil the (English) language or whatever, but just to make sure that the message got through to the workers," he said.
"I am not trying to impress anyone. I just want to make sure that my workers on the ground, my union leaders on the ground understand the challenge at hand and the solution that we all have to pursue."
He added that he was driven to come up with slogans in simple English because of his own limitation in explaining complicated policies to people.
"Some people have the gift... No matter how complicated, they are able to explain all the details and so on. I cannot," said Mr Lim, who studied at Catholic High School and National Junior College.
The latest word coined by Mr Lim was "futurise".
Last month, the labour chief called for a push to "futurise" Singapore, with the people seeking out change instead of yearning for things to remain as they are. This requires workers and businesses to have a "mindset of embracing the future", he had said then.
Yesterday, Mr Lim said he has since found a better way to explain "futurisation".
The idea of getting people to think about the future is so that they prepare for it early and get there before the competition, Mr Lim said. So "futurisation" means that "the early bird catches the worm", he said.