surrounded by clouds

On language.

This evening I’ve been enjoying reading through the very amusing,  ‘Love, Your Copyeditor’.

It’s a blog written by, well, a copyeditor, who posts snippets from the books she’s working on, and the comments offered up as corrections to those very snippets.

If you’re a bit of language geek, or just interested in a few insights into the publishing trade, then I’d recommend a visit.

One post in particular got me thinking: ‘Engrish and Other Atrocities’.

My lovely friend and colleague, Alison Joy, devotes some of her (sadly neglected) blog to the comedy of Thai Engrish, especially when found on stationery.

During the summer, when I found myself in The Country That Shall Not Be Named, I experienced Engrish for myself in a big way. That afore-alluded to country has a bit of a thing for translating stuff – sometimes official stuff (subway signs or airline magazines) and sometimes unofficial stuff (shop names and highway billboards) – and, as one of our local hosts explained, many companies will included English translations as a matter of course now (even in a city where 99% of the foreign visitors are Russians) because there is a perception that using English gives the appearance of success and intelligence.

Which makes me feel awfully glad to have been born in a country that speaks English.

And makes me feel awfully lazy not to have made a little bit more of an effort to learn another language at school.

And reminds me of the awesome notebook I found whilst in ‘that place’. It made me laugh, and reminded me of Alison, so I bought it, and it quickly became my ‘travel journal’.

It is covered in writing. Sort of sentences, but without any sense.

It’s called ‘Afternoon Coffee’; it has pictures of a buggy without a horse, some butterflies, a cafe called ‘Cafe D’Jaconelli’ and an Edwardian lady in a Stars and Stripes dress; and the following is an extract from the text:

A Leisurely Afternoon: Laid-back, is very comfortable

Have webbed feet with dry friction street stone The uneven ground and Poor ah, unusual, unfortunately, the absurdity of the objects, dragging white feather, Mouth stretch a stream without water, It is anxious to sort out the dust in the wings, Heart miss a beautiful lake home: “Water, ah when you flow? Lei ah, when you ring?” several people as a general Ovid described by several people as a general Convulsion Looking a Napian mocking, cruel of the neck elongation, raised his desire to head, blue sky, It seems to spit out the curse of God. Travel back in time Because memory is not applied Prostitute Make the text heavy atmosphere magic emanation of the air Touch the sadness with song Ovid described by

In summary: Random. Only 69 pence. The best souvenir of my mystery trip.

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This entry was published on January 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm. It’s filed under Randomness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “On language.

  1. Pingback: On day 31 | surrounded by clouds

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