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... if you are a politically-correct creep or a "sensitive" person.



Say What?
In Maledicta Monitor, I published various examples of silly "politically correct" language castration, such as replacing the good word "Negro" with the inaccurate, polysyllabic, patronizing and stupid term "African American." -- But the absolutely most idiotic p.c. term ever was recently created by the school board of Oakland, Calif., to get Federal funds: "Black English," a social dialect earlier upgraded to "Ebonics" (from ebony + phonics) now is called -- thanks to mouse-brained educators and bureaucrats -- "Pan-African Communication Behaviors." (San Francisco Chronicle 26 Dec 1996: A-11). -- Mother: "Do my son speak Black English?" Oakland School Board: "No, Ma'am, he do engage in Pan-African Communication Behaviors."

English über Alles
Germans, Swedes, Netherlanders and many others adopt, conjugate and decline English computer terms, producing a language mishmash that could drive a teacher into an early grave. Examples from actual German web sites: Seine Homepage ist cool. (His home page is cool.) -- Sie hat bis zwei Uhr früh gesurft. (She surfed till two a.m.) -- Email mich! (Send me e-mail!) -- Meine Webseite hat ein neues Layout. (My web site has a new layout.) -- Du kannst das coole Programm vom Server downloaden. (You can download the cool program from the server.).

Brazilian Giggles
A professor's wife from the University of Missouri in Rolla visited Brazil last year. The locals, especially the women, giggled when she was wearing her T-shirt sporting ROLLA across her chest. In Brazilian Portuguese, rôla means "turtledove," but it's also slang for "dick" or "cock," as in chupa a minha rôla, "suck my cock." (Thanks, Jerry C. and Tom S.)

Jewish English or "Hebonics"
The following is making the rounds on the Net. I have made some improvements. Submitted by Dr. Lou B. et al.

The Encino (Calif.) School Board has declared Jewish English or "Hebonics" (from Hebrew + phonics) a second language. Backers of the move say the district is the first in the nation to recognize Hebonics as the language of many of America's Jews. Here are some descriptions of the characteristics of the language, and samples of phrases in Standard English and Jewish English.

1. Samples of Pronunciation Characteristics of Hebonics
(a) It hardens consonants at the end of words: "hand" becomes "hant" -- "language" becomes "lengvitch"
(b) The letter w is usually pronounced as if it were a v: "welcome" becomes "velcome"
(c) The r is transformed to a guttural utterance that is impossible to spell in English: "It's ghraining alghready."

2. Samples of Idiomatic Characteristics
(a) Questions are always answered with questions: "How do you feel?" -- "How should I feel?"
(b) The subject is often placed at the end of a sentence after its pronoun has been used at the beginning: "She dances beautifully, that girl."
(c) The sarcastic, derogatory repetition of words by adding "shm-" to the beginning of the word and ususally dropping the first letter(s) of the original: "Lawyers, shmawyers!" -- "Clinton, Shminton!"

3. Sample Usage Comparisons

Standard English Phrase

Hebonics Phrase

  He walks slow.   Like a fly in the ointment he valks.
  You're sexy.   (unknown concept)
  Sorry, I don't know the time.   What do I look like, a clock?
  I hope things turn out for the best.   You should be so lucky!
  Anything can happen.   It's never so bad it can't get vorse.

The Letters I Get . . .
After I had griped about my bronchitis or whatever that has me barking day and night, and about my doctor, who charges me $55 for a quickie office visit to write a $7 prescription for Amoxicillin, Ken P., one of the wittiest men alive, e-mailed me the following:

"I had the same fucking thing camping out in my lungs all through Nov / Dec and into January. Huge gluey Irish Oysters and rotten wheels of lung cheese. Thick, yellow, and sticky (the way I like my women!). The germs will win, ultimately. We're just big rubbery motels to them."

My message to Ken: "Sorry for being slow in replying. While reading your medical news, I puked on the keyboard and had the hardest time getting the chunks of liverwurst out from between the keys. Before I read your next mail, I'll put a plastic sheet over the keyboard. Talk about sticky keys!"



Sofisticated San Francisco Politicians
Both daily newspapers in San Francisco ran front-page headlines after S. F. district attorney Terence Hallinan punched developer Joe O'Donoghue, an old friend of his, at a party in a Marina District restaurant. O'Donoghue insisted the whole thing had been blown out of proportion. "I said to him, 'Fuck you, and shove your motherfucking job up your chickenshit little ass, you prick,'" O'Donoghue explained to a Bay Guardian reporter. "I would have hit him if he'd said it to me. I don't see the big fucking deal." (San Francisco Bay Guardian, 1 January 1997: 23. Submitted by Andrew C. -- Of course, the Chronicle and the Examiner refused to print the above quotation.)

Artificial Intelligence? Mein Gott! Mon Dieu! Gevalt!
Last November, I tried the automatic translation service at the University of Saarbrücken, Germany. I asked the machine to translate the famous limerick to the right into German and French. Here are the catastrophic results. There once was a hermit called Dave
Who kept a dead whore in his cave.
He said, "I admit,
I'm a bit of a shit,
But just think of the money I save."
CAT2 "translation" into German:
Geben eine Einsiedlerin einmal dass Sie "Dave" betiteln?
die ob behalten? tot der "whore" an die die die Höhle.
Das Sagen, Zugabe,
"I'm" ein Bit vom "shit",
"but" gerader Gedanke vom Geld rette ich."
CAT2 "translation" into French:
Pro "once was hermit" appelées par "Dave"
qui est-ce qui menées "dead" le "whore" dans pro la cave.
Avoir? dite, avouer,
"I'm" le "bit" de le "shit",
mais justement pensantes de l'argent est-ce qui "I save."
The German text, retranslated literally, is as follows (the French is similar gibberish): Give a female hermit once that you call Dave? Who if keep? dead the whore at the the the cave. That say, addition, "I'm a [computer] bit of the shit, but straight thought of the money I rescue (save)."

Albanian Chuckles
A Swiss correspondent who works for "Caritas Schweiz" (a Swiss humanitarian organization) in Albania notes that the locals have mixed feelings about this group. They are happy to get Swiss help and supplies but also keep chuckling about their Albanian name, Karitas Zvicër, because Albanian kar means "prick" and kari "the prick." (Thanks, B. S. and Boris F.)

More about Machine Translations
Ellen Spertus (ellens@ai.mit.edu) also experimented with automatic translations. She had her web page translated to French and back to English by computers. The result was, as expected, mainly gibberish.

Original English

Translation to French

Translation back to English

home page

page de la maison

page of the house

web pages

pages du tissu

pages of cloth

I've done a little free-lance writing.

J'ai fait un petit libre-lance écrire.

I made a small free-spear icrire.

A few months ago, Pete M. told another computer program to translate my name (Reinhold Aman) into German. It translated the name morpheme by morpheme as Zügelhalten Einmann. You can call me "Züg" for short.

Goofy
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