30 Nov '14, 6am

Flats are not houses, think hospital beds instead: Where we go wrong is in our use of words. I have always cr...

Flats are not houses, think hospital beds instead: Where we go wrong is in our use of words. I have always cr...

Where we go wrong is in our use of words. I have always cringed when Singaporeans use the word “house” to mean their flat. I may be old-fashioned in this respect, but I would only use the word “house” when I refer to a dwelling that sits directly on a plot of land; I would not use it for a pigeon coop in the sky. If one looks at international usage, that’s probably the norm. The wrong choice of words affects how we think of something. Words come with associations and values. I’d argue that our careless choice of words warp how we think of Housing and Development Board flats — public housing in which 85% of Singaporeans live. A useful new debate has commenced with Ho Kwon Ping and Donald Low suggesting that we should rethink the role of the Housing and Development Board. Essentially they are arguing for a shift in HDB’s emphasis, giving greater priority to a price regulator...

Full article: http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/flats-are-no...

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