Monday, January 10, 2005

 
Communication Breakdown
Two brief items tonight from the inner recesses of the mighty bi-lingual media empire for which I toil.
1. A dinner special listed on the menu board in our company cafeteria: "Fried Spanish with spicy sauce." Calls to the Spanish counsulate asking if any of their citizens were reported missing met with polite denials.
2. One Chinese reporter who regularly files copy so confounding that his surname, Ng, has become an in-house verb - as in "I've been Ng'd!" - when a copy editor is unfortunate enough to get one of his stories, turned in one tonight in which the subject/source went from "he" to "she" back to "him" and then "her." The following exchange ensued:
Copy editor: "Is this person you wrote about in the SARS funds story a man or a woman?"
Ng: "Why do you want to know?"
Copy editor: "Because you have it as both. Is it a man or woman?"
Ng: "Yes."
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