Back in Singapore since the last couple of weeks, and have had some strange observations: ‘Can’ is a word that is used, reused, shopworn, and banally abused like no other. And not just for its usual meaning. Rather, it’s after having been here that you could truly appreciate the power of this little word. Some situations:
1. Q: Could I exchange this with that?
A: Can! (or “Can can!” with the vigorous nodding of the head, if it’s really trivial)
2. Q: Could I also opt for another option…?
A: Also can!
3. Q: Could you give me this instead of that and that instead of this (a complex scenario)?
A: Can not! (and if the other party is courteous enough, s/he would also give a suggestion: This instead of that can!)
A friend of mine was telling me the plight of one of his friend once, when he unfortunately asked for a can of Coke, at a grocery. The answer he got was:
“Coke can also can and no can also can” :o)
So you see the power of ‘can’? Can?