Posts tagged facepalm
It’s always good to see Welsh being promoted in Wales.
However, it does help if one uses a professional translator and native Welsh speaker before committing any money to doing works on the ground.
This has clearly not been done by supermarket chain Morrisons with the car park markings shown below at its supermarket car park in Caernarfon.
The error was brought to the attention of non-Welsh speakers by Twitter user Rhysew, who tweeted
C’mon @Morrisons, sort this out! Your Welsh translates as “Arse record” Correct it as DIM MYNEDIAD.
This is not the first time Anglophone companies have treated Welsh – a far older language than English – with the respect it deserves.
Most recently, there was comedy train operating company First Great Western, which will have no Welsh language announcements on its services between South Wales and London (even though it manages to embrace both Welsh and English train announcements at Newport station. Ed.)
Last year there was also Santander, which seems to have problems with Welsh customers expecting transactions in the vernacular despite having a clear Welsh language policy.
In the meantime, would any Welsh-speaking reader care to ask Morrisons if the “arse record” will be available on vinyl. 😉
One thing is certain about life in Bristol: it’s quite unlike living anywhere else and can sometimes be well beyond the borders of the surreal.
This feeling is enhanced by reading the Bristol Post, city’s newspaper of (warped) record.
Just skimming casually through the Post website, readers may easily miss some real exclusives, such as this fire brigade incident reported yesterday by Heather Pickstock, who is alleged to be the paper’s North Somerset reporter.
As shown in the screenshot above, Ms Pickstock informs readers as follows in this fine piece of creative writing:
Crews from Southmead, Temple, Kingswood, Hicks Gate, Bedminster and Pill were called at 9.46pm yesterday to reports of smoke billowing from the sixth floor of a high rise block a Littlecroft House, Pip Street, Eastville.
There’s just one thing wrong with the above sentence: it’s completely incorrect; there’s no Pip Street in Eastville and no high rise block called Littlecroft House either.
A research technique known to ordinary mortals, but not to Ms Pickstock, affectionately known as “5 minutes’ Googling” reveals there’s a a council tower block called Little Cross House in Phipps Street, Southville, a good four miles across the city from Eastville.
The Bristol area can breathe a sigh of relief that Ms Pickstock does not work as a call handler on the 999 emergency switchboard. 😉
Many of the phrases in common use in English have 2 sources: either the Bible (both the authorised King James version and earlier translations, such as those of Wycliffe and Tyndale. Ed.) and the pen of William Shakespeare.
Indeed, some lovers of the English language actually refer to it euphemistically as “the language of Shakespeare” when someone ignorant commits an indignity with it.
Today’s online edition of the Bristol Post/Live, the city’s newspaper of (warped) record has not difficulty in mangling some of the Bard of Avon’s actual words.
The misquoting of the Bard occurs in a promotional piece advertising a supermarket chain’s substantial breakfast. The piece itself was a cut and paste job lifted from the Post’s Trinity Mirror stablemate, the Manchester Evening News, which itself lifted the item from the Metro, a publication so downmarket its owners the Daily Mail have to give it away.
However, neither the MEN nor the Metro saw fit to misquote Shakespeare; that was a solo effort by the Temple Way Ministry of Truth.
The offending sentence is in the final passage shown in the above screenshot, i.e.:
The breakfast contains your entire daily allowance in one foul swoop, but it’s described as the perfect meal for those with a big appetite.
The actual words penned by Shakespeare are not “one foul swoop” but “one fell swoop” and occur in Macbeth, Act 4, scene 3, when Macduff hears that his family have been killed. Macduff remarks:
All my pretty ones?
Did you say all?—O hell-kite!—All?
What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,
At one fell swoop?
“One fowl swoop” is occurs frequently as a variation to the misquotation.
Whether Shakespeare actually invented the phrase himself or was the first to write it down is a matter of debate. Even so, Macbeth was written in 1605, so even the Bard’s the phrase dates back over four centuries.
The adjective “fell” is archaic, meaning evil or cruel, so it’s unsurprising that it’s misquoted. Moreover, in its context tends to occur in literary works such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic “Lord of the Rings” (e.g. fell beasts).
This blog has previously documented the carnage on the highways caused by driverless vehicles (posts passim).
The Bristol Post, the city’s newspaper of warped record, has now discovered that driverless vehicles are not only responsible for so-called “accidents“, but have now turned to theft – or attempted theft – as well.
If there’s one crumb of comfort to be gained from the above report, it is that our brave boys and girls in blue would have had no trouble spotting the offending vehicle with those American “license plates“. 😉
It’s official: the Bristol Post (or is it BristolLive? Ed.) is changing its name to the Manchester Evening News.
And the revelation comes in a piece from no less a personage than Mike Norton, the title’s editor in chief himself, and is hidden away in the details about the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The relevant section is outlined in red in the image below. Click on the image for the full-sized version.
Whether production of the Post will be moved up north from the Temple Way Ministry of Truth is not mentioned.
Is Mike Norton guilty of copying and pasting without checking the actual wording?
In Private Eye’s immortal words: we should be told! 🙂
Although it’s not one of his regular local media reads, your ‘umble scribe might just start visiting the Oswestry and Border Counties Advertizer website more to keep up to date with dynamic, one could even say groundbreaking, developments in use of the English language, if the headline of the report shown below is in any way typical of modern journalism.
The same piece, by the same author, also appears in yesterday’s Whitchurch Herald, where similar sub-editing skills are in evidence.
In amongst the blizzard of snow-related news coverage, one significant item of information has been overlooked by almost all of the media: the Met Office, formerly an executive agency and trading fund of the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is now part of major British supermarket chain Asda Stores Ltd., which is itself owned by US retail giant Walmart, Inc.
Indeed, the only part of the mainstream media to pick up this news yesterday was the Bristol Post, the city’s newspaper of (warped) record, as shown by the screenshot below of that mighty organ’s home page.
Unless the above headline and tagging are yesterday’s deliberate mistake by the Temple Way Ministry of Truth, it is most baffling why such a momentous government asset disposal has not been mentioned elsewhere.
Finally, Walmart is rumoured to be such a hands-on company that the heating in all its stores is controlled from corporate headquarters. This blog trusts that Met Office employees are prepared for such control-freakery.
There have been many occupants of the Oval Office in the White House that have possessed of brilliant minds and some not so brilliant.
When it comes to the latter, think of both Presidents Bush as prime examples.
Bush Senior, i.e. George H.W. Bush, even gave rise to a neologism for gaffes – Bushisms. Below is an example.
It’s no exaggeration to say the undecideds could go one way or another.
(We’ll draw a discreet veil over Bush Senior’s Vice-President Dan Quayle and his “Potatoe” gaffe. Ed.)
The lack of intellectual firepower must be hereditary. “Dubya”, as the 43rd president was affectionately known, seems to have inherited his father’s legendary language skills, as per the following example, uttered in Bentonville, Arkansas, on 6th November 2000.
They misunderestimated me.
For masochists, there’s plenty of Dubya gaffes out there.
Coming right up to date, many would concede the 45th President of the United States of America was not at the front of the queue (or line for Transatlantic readers) when brains were being handed out. His mental stability has even been called into question.
The Donald is well known for his irrational outbursts and prolific use of social media, sometimes combining both, as in this tweet from a few days ago.
Let’s just analyse that tweet a bit and before we begin, it’s worth remembering insisting that global warming is a “hoax” invented by the Chinese, not to mention his appointment of climate change sceptics/deniers to both his cabinet and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Firstly, there’s the term Global Warming. The generally accepted term for what is happening to the earth is now climate change. NASA helpfully points out the following:
“Climate change” and “global warming” are often used interchangeably but have distinct meanings. Similarly, the terms “weather” and “climate” are sometimes confused, though they refer to events with broadly different spatial- and timescales.
This is exactly what Trump has done, not only confused climate change and global warming but weather and climate too.
To quote NASA on all these matters:
Weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur locally over short periods of time—from minutes to hours or days. Familiar examples include rain, snow, clouds, winds, floods or thunderstorms. Remember, weather is local and short-term.
Climate, on the other hand, refers to the long-term regional or even global average of temperature, humidity and rainfall patterns over seasons, years or decades. Remember, climate is global and long-term.
Global warming refers to the upward temperature trend across the entire Earth since the early 20th century, and most notably since the late 1970s, due to the increase in fossil fuel emissions since the industrial revolution. Worldwide since 1880, the average surface temperature has gone up by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), relative to the mid-20th-century baseline (of 1951-1980).
Climate change refers to a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere. These phenomena include the increased temperature trends described by global warming, but also encompass changes such as sea level rise; ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide; shifts in flower/plant blooming; and extreme weather events.
Referring to “good old Global Warming“, this is POTUS getting down with his supporters denoting someone something – in this case global warming – that will do what is wanted or expected of them or it respectively.
As for shouting about “trillions of dollars”, remember that climate change denier Trump has pulled the USA out of the Paris Agreement.
Donald has received plenty of criticism from many quarters for the above tweet. One of the most interesting implies that Trump is being hypocritical. The Hill reports that celebrity chef José Andrés has more or less accused Trump of hypocrisy.
On the same day as the infamous Trump tweet, José Andrés tweeted the following response:
Why are you trying to build a wall in Ireland to protect your Golf club from raising seas?…..Mr. Trump just we had one of the bigger seasons of hurricanes in a century! People in USA are without homes, food and electricity because of Global warming!!! Really?
Andrés was originally going to be opening a restaurant in a Trump establishment in Washington, D.C., but pulled out after Trump made racist remarks about Mexicans during his presidential campaign.
Trump sued then Andrés for breach of contract; the chef countersued.
Although a settlement was reached earlier this year, Andrés has continued to criticise Trump, particularly in respect of the response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico and Trump’s attitude to Moslems.
Even given some stiff competition from the Bush family, Trump’s global warming tweet is in my mind the dumbest thing to come out of the Oval Office since the days of Ronald Reagan, who, incidentally, was out-acted by a chimpanzee in Bedtime for Bonzo in 1951.
On 11th August 1984 Reagan famously gave the following sound check for his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio:
My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.
Coming back environmental matters, Reagan also matches Trump in idiocy. Your ‘umble scribe can never forget the following, as quoted by Martin Schram in ‘Nation’s Longest Campaign Comes to an End’ in the Washington Post of 4th November 1980:
Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.
What is the hapless US customs officer featured below going to do when he finds out there’s a Paris in France as well as Texas, an Athens in Greece as well as Georgia and Boston is named after a market town in Lincolnshire in the UK?
No further comment needed. 😀
Many press organisations have sacked sub-editors and dispensed with proofreading in recent years as a means of saving money.
Alabama’s Times Daily in the USA seems to have been part of this movement, as is apparent from the following photo of its front page today on the unfolding story of former Alabama state judge and Republican politician Roy Moore‘s past sexual indiscretions.
If one were dining out, what would be the right wine to accompany sex clams? 😉
Hat tip: Dr Ray Schestowitz.