Friday, April 30, 2010

Overusing English In Excess And Then Some

I saw a couple of things recently that forced that bemused and puzzle smile across my face, the smile that's a half frown, half chuckle and half WTF?

I was interviewing someone the other day and did that thing that a few interviewers do, I think they call it preparing. She turned out to be a nice enough person, Americanists would probably describe her as spunky but, here in England that means something entirely different and, in this case, most likely to be wholly inaccurate.

There I was, doing the preparing thing and reading through her CV. One of the things it said was

"fluent in Punjabi"

It's not a skill that would specifically benefit our business but I could see how it would be useful to many others, particularly in this area, where there are more Indians per square metre than, well Eastern Europeans.

All was well and good. Until I read the next bit. For, our candidate, or someone who thought they were smart and good at CV writing, had added after the "fluent in Punjabi" bit the words

"speaking reading and writing"

I kid you not, the comma after the first word was genuinely missing, that wasn't just me. I found that ironic in itself. More importantly I stared at the words "speaking reading and writing" and wondered what else there is to be included in the fluency in another language. Surely it's like a fellow telling you that he's good at origami and then adding that he's also quite good at making things out of folding paper.

Yes, she sure misunderestimated my English skills.

And then I was driving around and passed a shop, a bakery cum eating place. The sign said:

"Specialists in all types of egg and eggless cakes"

Well I ask you. Was the signwriter getting paid per word?

Why not just say "Specialists in all type of cakes"?

And let's not even get started on Sri Lankan signs?

Merry weekend out there all.

1 comment:

Sach said...

You know something that always confused me?

"Getting on the plane"

Why the hell someone would want to get ON a plane, unless they have a dramatic death wish, is totally beyond me. Strange though that many airlines themselves around the world use the phrase.