if ~ 如果

i think the word “if” is one of the most under-rated word in English language. imagine this, it could appear in both a cool logic-based scenario and a passionate emotions-based scenario.

if-then-else statements – the very basic computer logic conditional statement. funny just how it applies to real life situations. like:

if one cannot buy books during Chinese New Year, then one will buy more-than-usual number of books before Chinese New Year. else, one would be bored to tears and become irritable.

or:

if one is feeling rich and chanced upon some extra unspent budget, then one will go and buy extra books she has been eyeing on but have been resisting the temptation. else, one would be kicking one’s head for the whole month of Feburary coz one cannot go and buy books as and when she likes.

on the emotions-based side, my primary 6 teacher once told the class, “if. did anyone of you realise that if is the saddest word in the whole English language?? for example, next year, some of you might be saying this to yourself, ‘if i had worked hard for my PSLE, i would not be in this school. i would be able to enter my first choice school.’ if is a word that conveys regret. so, everytime someone mentions if, it means that that person has some hint of regret that he didn’t do his best the first time round.”

eg,

if one master the art of self-discipline properly and resist the temptation of buying books when she discover some extra budget, then one will save them for the rainy days instead of splurging on books with the pathetic excuses preying on some superstitious minds. else, one would be perpetually financially strapped.


my book loot
Originally uploaded by yl.

however, in view of this joyous and merry season, let’s look at some happier instances of the appearence of if:

if i had not shopped around when i buy books, if i insisted my books on being of good quality both on the inside (writing) and outside (book design and physical book condition), then i would have bought a more expensive copy of the 《日治时期》 from Select Bookstore (costing S$19.95) instead of a cheaper but slightly dirtier rejected copy of the exact same title from a streetside stall (costing S$ 8.90). else, i would be still kicking myself in the derrière as the difference is more than 50%.

and in a combination of both logic and emotions, one cannot dispense with if. when planning for the future, one needs if as well. like:

if i have a larger budget to burst in the future, then i might buy the following:

  • Night – Elie Wiesel (actually this didnt really count. it was not an act of self-discipline on my part. i didnt buy it simply because kinokuniya didnt display their stocks of this title. the stocks were all in their warehouse…)
  • Force 136: Story of a WWII Resistance Fighter – Tan Chong Tee (either did this count. the girl at Select bookstore could not find the only copy in their inventory. )
  • Concierto Para Trio (CD) – Albert Tiu (this counts!! i really restrained myself from buying the copy coz i knew i had spent too much!! see!! i not incorrigible!!)
  • Daughter of the Killing Fields: Asrei’s Story – Seng, Theary C
  • i hope no one’s new year starts with a regretful if. use the jubilant future-planning if instead. you cant turn back the clock anyway. the eyes of a human is designed to look forward. Happy Lunar New Year.

    我想“如果”这两个字是语言当中最被忽视的。想象一下,它能够在理性与感性的情况下通用。

    如果-然后-要不然 – 这是电脑程序当中最基本的逻辑程序流程。有趣的是,它也能在日常生活当中运用。就象:

    如果一个人不能在农历年时买书,然后那个人就会在农历年前买数量比平时多的书。否则,那个人就会在整个二月时感觉很闷而心浮气燥。

    或者:

    如果一个人觉得自己很富有而发现一些多余的预算然后那个人就会去买多几本自己一直计划要买但是抗拒诱惑的书。否则,那个人就会在二月时感到分外的乏味,因为她不能随意地买书(输)了。

    在感性的那一方面,我的小六老师曾经对我们说过:“如果。你们有没有人察觉到如果是语言当中最让人伤心的一个字??比方说,明年的今天,或许你们当中会有人对自己说:“如果当初我为小六会考努力,那我现在就不会在这间学校了。我就可以入学我的首选学校。”如果是一个表达后悔的字眼。所以如果一个人用如果这个词汇,那就代表那个人有后悔之心,后悔当初为什么没有努力。”

    例如,

    如果一个人学会自律而不会在发现有多余预算时被诱惑买书的话,那么那个人就会未雨绸缪而不是利用一些迷信的理论来解释为什么自己会拖了一大堆的书回来。否则,这个人可要永远被债务缠身了。


    我的赃物
    Originally uploaded by yl.

    但是,基于现在是佳节,让我们看看“如果”的开心一面:

    如果我买书时没有到处逛逛,如果我坚持自己所买的书无论在内在或外观都得要美丽的话,那我就会话更多的钱买一本一模一样的书。在某家书局我见到一本书售价表为$19.95。在一个路边摊,我见到同样的一本书。这次,该书的售价表为$8.90。否则我会一直想而愤愤不平,因为我可会节省超过50%。。。

    而在集合理性与感性的时候,我们也不能忽视了如果。在计划自己的未来时,我们也需要如果这个词汇。如:

    如果将来我拥有一个较大的预算,我就会购买:

  • Night – Elie Wiesel (actually this didnt really count. it was not an act of self-discipline on my part. i didnt buy it simply because kinokuniya didnt display their stocks of this title. the stocks were all in their warehouse…)
  • Force 136: Story of a WWII Resistance Fighter – Tan Chong Tee (either did this count. the girl at Select bookstore could not find the only copy in their inventory. )
  • Concierto Para Trio (CD) – Albert Tiu (this counts!! i really restrained myself from buying the copy coz i knew i had spent too much!! see!! i not incorrigible!!)
  • Daughter of the Killing Fields: Asrei’s Story – Seng, Theary C
  • 我希望没人的新年是以悔意浓浓的如果开始的。多利用那欢腾豪爽的如果吧!!反正是不可能把时间倒转的了。人的眼睛是用来向前看的。农历年快乐。

    This entry was posted in books/书呆子, buys/敗家, ideas/愛的是. Bookmark the permalink.

    2 Responses to if ~ 如果

    1. the diva says:

      Why can’t people buy books during CNY: 买书 sounds like “not wanting to lose” in Hokkien mah. No worries…

    2. YL says:

      hmmmm but if you bring the books back, it would be “书到家”- lose until home also dun have… dunno lahz… THE auntie not happy… so tahan until the whole season is over lor…

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