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Monday, November 12, 2007

On a lighter note: Your daily dose of unapologetic cynicism

First up: Why grammar is so important
(at least if you're a journalist)

I read this headline the other day:
"Dolphins Help Shark Attack Victim"

Who's being helped here? I thought it was a warning that dolphins aren't as friendly as we'd like to think... After skimming the artice, I gather that the dolphins helped the victim of a shark attack, otherwise known as the shark-attack victim. As a popular poem once stated, it's all in the dash.

Next: Things you should never name your kid

I once read a study in an extremely monotonous psychology textbook. The researcher quoted was Edwin G. Boring. I kid you not. Now, in my humble opinion, if you have to have a surname like "Boring," don't name your kid Edwin G! I have nothing against the Edwins of the world... but the whole thing together sounds rather offbeat. And one more thing -- If you're stuck with a name like that, you probably shouldn't be writing long studies that college kids will be forced to read. Try stand-up comedy. (I wonder what the G. is for?)

Another psychology study was reported by Gonas and Yonas. Again, two perfectly normal names. But what is the likelihood of their both becoming professionals in the same specialized field, and then getting together to do their research? Sounds more like a performing troupe: Come see Gonas and Yonas, the amazing human tamers!

While we're on the topic, my friend the public school teacher [at least] once had a foreign student whose last name was difficult to pronounce...without sounding profane. That was the year she began calling her students by their first names ;-)

And finally: Engrish as a second language

I tried to photograph the toy package that sported this line, but didn't have a real camera on me so the text didn't come out clear. Just trust me. I've seen worse, but this one really hit my funny bone:

"The intelligence development of the beneficial child"

And some of the things you can build with it: "Tick-ock" (the picture didn't help for that one) and "Cosmos snake."

The picture below is not mine, but it came from a website that swears it's real:


Jessica said...

lol. In regards to the last one, my husband used to play some video game when he was younger that came from Japan (I think) and one of the characters in it said, "All your base are belong to us." Oh, ESL...

Scraps said...

LOL! Gotta love making fun of people who make funny mistakes like those. :)

halfshared said...

LOL, I have an email I once got with a whole bunch of these silly mistakes. Can't expect much better though when most things are made in Japan or China.

ProfK said...

Yup, the English that arrives from overseas can sometimes be real head-scratchers, but oh that it was limited to those who are ESL. The headline above was in an American newspaper. And this arrived in an essay submitted to me, by one who was born here, educated in our yeshiva system: "In points of fact, nothing in the argument deals with what was since it wasn't." Or this one, which came in a business letter assignment submitted to me: "So we can see that having procreation facilities available for all employees would be of benefit to the company. Such facilities would improve productivity." Recreation anyone?

bad4shidduchim said...

Always buy cheap goods from China - the directions are hysterical.

corner point said...

Gosh, great post! You're hilarious!

I LOVE shoddy translations! Products made in Taiwan are always the best.
I once found a birthday card somewhere glorifying Oriental translated instructions (such a chaval I didn't buy it then! I'm looking all over for it now...) that proudly proclaimed,

"Happy your foot attachments!"

I'm still laughing, and it's been, like...5 years

Bas~Melech said...

Thanks for all the comments. Glad I finally made someone smile...

And people, JAPAN. The funniest ones always seem to come from Japan. ;-) Or maybe their co-orientals are catching up fast...

Lvnsm27 said...

lol, with the dolphins, at first I didn't see what you meant, but then I saw it. good stuff

corner point said...

Finally made someone smile?


You don't think your other posts ever made anyone smile?

You're funny, girl...

Bas~Melech said...

CP -- How'm I supposed to know if you don't say anything? :-P

Lvnsm -- The funny part is that it was really in the mainstream media that is seen by innumerable people. They don't usually make such significant mistakes -- OK, a misplaced apostrophe here or there, but this was funny.

Anonymous said...

I smiled too. nice post

corner point said...

Touche :-P

Okay, so here it is:

You're funny, girl!!

Have a good one!

David_on_the_Lake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David_on_the_Lake said...

are u fun making of my rittle Edwin??

- DavidOnTheRake (ouch)

Bas~Melech said...

CP, LS -- Thanks.

DOTR-- LOL! (though pretty relevant to your recent post!)