My Googleganger: the future modal tense of a singlish verb

July 14, 2009

Buzzfeed has a post about “googlegangers”, or people with the same name as you that prevent your name from coming to the surface in a google search.

Searching for ”William Chiong” is fairly expected- there are two professional William Chiongs, a dentist and a musician that come up before me, and then you start seeing my name in the context of a publication I was on in college for the graphics lab, and some limericks andy left in comments on an old blog post of mine.

But my more commonly used nickname provides a bit of a problem. In ”Singlish”, english words such as the modal verb “will” are commonly paired with hokkien and slang words such as “chiong” (to be gung ho). So, when you search for ”will chiong” you get some of my stuff, peppered with crazy Singaporean blog posts ranging from topics like the stock market to Counter-Strike. I actually don’t really understand the meaning of “chiong” but I have tried to piece it together from the context. Here are some of the stranger headlines (links removed because it would run counter to my goal of being googlable):

  • “Don’t feel bad. Market will chiong up tomorrow. Remember, buy on dips!”
  • “CopperTone will chiong weeks worth of homework now.”
  • “When I let go my accelerator and cross the 2nd last arrow and the light is still green, I will chiong.”
  • “If they turtle, I will chiong. If they mash SRK, I will bait. If they play normal, I will play cautious.”
  • “Too bad my laptop broke down or I will chiong this game lol.”
  • “You never know how the market will chiong in short - mid term due to volatility.”

ARGH people actually talk like this. If they ever offer a way to kill a phrase Will Chiong will chiong for that opportunity.


Written by Will who lives and works in New York. You should follow him on Twitter.