Wednesday, December 17, 2008

While waiting at the post office today for the queue of 20 people ahead of me to exhaust itself, I had fun with the stamp machine in the lobby. I couldn’t actually use it to get stamps for my cards as there are extra charges for both non-standard size and non-white envelopes these days. But it was amusing to see I got a different price the three times I tested it with one of the cards. But confusing when I switched to English and, after giving me the price, the machine gave me the choice of Go Back or Receive. Until I realised the latter was a translation of the Spanish word Aceptar. So, even the government can’t afford native speakers to check its English.

Here’s a list of what someone thinks are the funniest gags in Britain during 2008. The only one I found really amusing in print was this one, from comedian Jimmy Carr:- “Barack Obama becoming President. Lewis Hamilton winning Formula One. It's been a good week for slightly black people.” But I heard No. 3 on the TV at the time and it was very good, despite the lèse majesté. Or perhaps because of it.

Sign in a London library - Do not leave your belongings. Unattended thieves operate in this area.

All deaths on the roads are tragic, of course, but this one perhaps more than most – a local man was killed when driving too fast to get to the hospital where his daughter was lying after being hit on a zebra crossing.

2 comments:

Keefieboy said...

There's a woman at my local Correos who keeps on forgetting that there's a special cheap rat for sending books. Every time I go to the Post Office, I stand in the ticketted queue, and, rain or shine, I get delivered to this particular woman. She tells me it'll be something close to 10 Euros. I point to the big label on the package that says it's a book. She fishes around o the computer for a bit, and eventually demands 3.40. I know it's a fiddle, but I don't know why she cannot remember my face and the fact that I will not stand for it. I send books out every 2 or 3 days, and I always have to go through this rigmarole. Grrrr.

Justin Roberts said...

Talking of native speakers translating. Have you seen this blog?

http://fuckedtranslation.blogspot.com/

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