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TerzaRima
08-01-2008, 12:47 AM
Dear coworkers,

Most of you have advanced degrees. Why then do you:

1) Believe that Important Nouns and Diseases need to be capitalized. The patient has autism, not Autism. I have yet to learn, for example, about a special mack daddy form of Autism with a capital A. The same goes for all manner of ills. If I read one more turgid email about this or that cherub with a Seizure Disorder and a Disruptive Behavior Disorder, I will seize myself. You are on warning.

2) Not possess the ability to summarize. I'm looking at you, Queen Dither. You can be in my office for ten minutes trying to ask me a question that could be phrased in about a dozen words. When I ask you quite directly what your concern is, you act like I just kicked your puppy. Sum. Up.

3) Residents. What's with starting your reports this way: "Judy is a wonderful 8 year old Caucasian female." "John is a delightful 6 year old African American male." What stoned Romper Room teacher of a preceptor physician taught you this? Stop doing it now. Oh, and you too. Sum. Up.

/cranky mcgrumpypants

Mela
08-01-2008, 12:57 AM
Oh, no, TerzaRima, not so fast. You haven't lived until you've edited magazine articles that have been translated from Portuguese to English, in which no sentence makes sense, in which words like "elaborate" are used in place of manufacture: "The company elaborates toilet bowls." I'll swap you some day - you make heads or tails out of a sentence that the writer's giving you as a direct translation, without clearly thinking out which words make sense, and I'll deal with your Disruptive Behavior Disorders. And believe me, I get a lot of that too.

BTW: One day to vacation!!

akiwiguy
08-01-2008, 01:30 AM
Oh, no, TerzaRima, not so fast. You haven't lived until you've edited magazine articles that have been translated from Portuguese to English, in which no sentence makes sense..



That reminds me of something I read once (apparently absolutely true) of a Portuguese to English translation guide. An amazing work, given that the author didn't speak Portuguese or English. But he did speak French. And happened to have two books at his disposal, a Portuguese to French one and a French to English one. Need I say more?

SpookyWriter
08-01-2008, 01:49 AM
That reminds me of something I read once (apparently absolutely true) of a Portuguese to English translation guide. An amazing work, given that the author didn't speak Portuguese or English. But he did speak French. And happened to have two books at his disposal, a Portuguese to French one and a French to English one. Need I say more?:e2steer:

JoNightshade
08-01-2008, 02:18 AM
Try correcting homework for an EFL class. (My eyes! They're bleeding!!!)

TerzaRima
08-01-2008, 02:22 AM
Mela, I'll see you your Portuguese toilet bowls and raise you my former boss, a kindly but eccentric geneticist who published a lot. When he found out I had an interest in writing, he would toss his manuscripts across my desk and say, "Work your magic." I will draw a veil over the experience of editing his work; I've never had to hike through warm Jello and I'm not sure if any other image does justice to the experience. Anyway. Eventually his secretary had me proof important correspondence as well.

An example of just why is the thank you note he wrote to, oh, let's say Dr DNA at Prominent University for her visit and lectures to our department. I'm not even making this up:

Dear Dr:

We wish to thank you for your excellent presentation and time spent with us. The presentation was most excellent. We are grateful for your time and attention. Once again, we appreciated your lecture and all the time you spent with us. Please accept our gratitude and many thanks.

Thank you again.

Gratefully,

etc., etc.

Silver King
08-01-2008, 02:28 AM
Dear Dr:

We wish to thank you for your excellent presentation and time spent with us. The presentation was most excellent. We are grateful for your time and attention. Once again, we appreciated your lecture and all the time you spent with us. Please accept our gratitude and many thanks.

Thank you again.

Gratefully,

etc., etc.
Sounds like he was VERY thankful for the visit. So how was the letter before you made the edits? ;)

EriRae
08-01-2008, 02:43 AM
Wow. Makes my call center look FANTASTIC. I have to interpret what they speak, not what they write. I had a guy call for a quote on what I swear were his vacants. He was saying "vehicles." My ears aren't quite up to snuff at 4AM anyway.

Is Queen Dither married to my coworker, King Jerk? He can vent about a thirty-second call for thirty minutes, while telling me that the way he handled the call was far superior to what a woman would have said.

Siddow
08-01-2008, 02:46 AM
I thought this thread was going to be about this. (http://www.engrish.com/)

Do you do the same rolling-the-hands gesture with Ms. Long-winded like I do? Like, "Get on with it already!" "Roll it!" Grrr...makes me want to punch them in fast-forward button so I can find out wtf they're talking about.

TerzaRima
08-01-2008, 02:58 AM
Do you do the same rolling-the-hands gesture with Ms. Long-winded like I do?

Mentally only. Ms. Longwinded gets a little offended when I betray any impatience. Maybe because I'm in the Midwest--I don't know--most of my colleagues seem much more tolerant, even expectant, of dithering and nonlinear information than I am. Or maybe I'm just an impatient harpy, which is come to think of it pretty likely.

JoNightshade
08-01-2008, 03:18 AM
Or how about the ALL-CAPS EMAILERS? DON'T YOU LOVE THOSE GUYS?

Pagey's_Girl
08-01-2008, 03:52 AM
I get at least four of five calls a day that go, "Hi, uh, someone called me from this number and I didn't think to get a name or anything, but he/she had an Indian accent. Could you put me through to him/her?" Considering that the company is a) based in India and b) most of the people in the company are from India, that really doesn't help.

And, confidential to the woman upstairs who used to be the receptionist before me: You did this for eight months. You know how DHL works. There is no need to call and insist on scheduling a 10 AM pickup in addition to the regular 4:30 PM pickup. It isn't getting on the plane any sooner. All it does is annoy the crap out of the driver...

Matera the Mad
08-01-2008, 07:10 AM
Wellllll........I have this hearing-impaired co-worker with a German-flavored tongue and when she gets going plotbunnies die of shame.

Yeah, I kind of know your pain.

Mela
08-01-2008, 05:30 PM
Oh, TerzaRima, that's hysterical. I do appreciate the time you spend on making sense of these excellent missives. I feel for you, I truly do.

But I'll raise you one more: Here's the text for an ad that was sent to me to review from our graphic artist in Brazil (direct translation - company names taken out to protect the innocent):

IN WHAT COMES TO THIS PARTNERSHIP,

BRAZIL WILL KEEP THE TALENT

OF BEING THE BARN OF THE WORLD.

COMPANY and COMPANY. A successful partnership.

For COMPANY it is a great honor being beside COMPANY after so long, not
only in business, but mainly in the challenges won together and success
reached in partnership.


!!!!!!

TerzaRima
08-01-2008, 06:24 PM
BRAZIL WILL KEEP THE TALENT

OF BEING THE BARN OF THE WORLD.



My God, this is a thing of beauty.

Mela
08-01-2008, 06:57 PM
Yes, that's exactly what I said.
Care to take a stab at what they're trying to say?