So far this morning, I have spent about an hour correcting others’ grammar, syntax, punctuation and the like. Spelling I leave to MS Word since I couldn’t spell my way out of a paper bag, but the rest tends to fall into my corner.

I decided to take a break and read some news, so I toodled over and find this article on the Chinese as they prepare for Olympics 2008.  It covers how signs in China often have a nonsensical English accompanyment, such as “Eyebrow Tatoo” and “Ear Spa.” Fun stuff.

Firstly, let me just say how amazed I am that country would try to learn another’s language for an event like this. Now it’s true that English is one of the most widely spoken languages on the planet, but as I recall (and I’m just riffing here) Mandarin Chinese is actually the most prevalent language on the planet and I don’t see American citizens rushing into Chinese classes to learn it. Kudos to the Chinese.

Still, I presume an English speaker wrote this article. And this is a major news outlet, folks, not some dinky little blog like mine. So when the following sentence ends the piece, I had to laugh just a little:

“They can have very simply conversations, like: `Who am I? Where am I going?”‘

Hmmmm… can they really have very simply conversations? Last time I checked, simply was an adverb and  conversations was a noun. And on a morning when I am endlessly switching then/than , making articles agree with nouns, and ensuring that tense is consistent, I find it amazing that some reporter who is getting paid gaziollons more than I am is getting to pass off poor English grammar skills. In an article about how the Chinese have poor English grammar skills.

Seriously. Priceless.

Now you go ahead and count how many errors I made in this post.



Filed under And She's Opinionated Too!, It's A Writing Life

2 responses to “Priceless

  1. At first glance: six.

    I think the purpose of the seemingly erroneous sentence in the article was to illustrate the English grammar skills (or lack thereof) of the person being quoted. In this case, it is Liu Yang, head of the “Beijing Speaks Foreign Languages Program.”

    A touch of irony, maybe?

  2. Ah, you’re right. It’s a quote. Which blows the whole “I’m perfect” thing outta the water. LOL