Monday, November 21, 2005

Language

OK.  First off, let me say right here and now that, based on my massive command of Chinese ("bao"), I am in no position to mock the English-language attempts of any of the nice folks in Taipei.  (I mean, really.  Quite amusing when I paid the cab driver -- I said "thank you" and he said what I assume was its Chinese equivalent, and we sorta nodded our heads at each other and went along our merry ways.)  Which is to say that if anyone in Taiwan goes to the trouble of trying to speak English in my direction, I should at the very least, meet them halfway in terms of understanding -- because I certainly cannot reciprocate with a little Chinese.

That said, before coming to Taipei I came across the English-language website of the Taipei Department of Information.  It was there that I read this little gem:

"Providing correct English information makes foreigners feel Taipei is friendly. "

Peggy thought this was hilarious.  Because, of course, it can be read to mean that Taipei isn't friendly -- but, y'now, that they think they can maybe fool people into thinking they're friendly if they "provide correct English information."  That's sorta been our little catchphrase for the trip -- about how Taipei is trying to appear friendly.

I say all of this by way of introduction to the sign I saw in the hotel elevator.  Now, this was a professionally printed sign -- not something someone had just scrawled up.  It was an ad for the hotel's bar, and it said:

"Have a little drink to enjoy a moment of a trifle tipsy."

Frankly, I don't think proper grammar could have possibly made this any friendlier.

1 comment:

helmswondermom said...

Oh I love that!  Did you enjoy a "moment of a trifle tipsy"?
Lori