More Mangled English

Mickey Mouse Watch PosterAs mentioned in my previous post, we’re all used to finding examples of mangled English on product packaging from overseas.

But I was gob-smacked to find a dreadfully mangled sentence on a poster in a shop window at my local shopping centre.

Bear in mind this is not a hastily hand-written notice for a local garage sale!  It’s a corporate advertisement for new reproductions of Mickey Mouse watches, produced by the Ingersoll and Disney companies.

Mickey Mouse Watch ad copyThe final sentence of the ad copy has no fewer than four errors in it! Not bad going for one sentence! :)

Though to be sure, the use of however … a ‘conjunctive adverb for the curious :) … means it should have been two sentences. Or at least utilised a semi-colon in the middle of the sentence instead of a comma.

That’s one mistake. As for the others …

2. A space has been left out between the words today’s and launch
3.  An apostrophe used for a decade should be ’30s not 30’s (indicating the omitted numbers at the start)
4.  And as for ‘phenomina‘? Good grief! Perhaps this should actually score as two errors. Phenomena is misspelled, but should actually be phenomenon anyway.

Apparently not one person spotted the mistakes.  Obviously the original writer of the copy did not have grammar or spelling as particular strengths. :) But, given the fact this is a corporate production, we have to assume the poster’s content and design would have been approved by a string of managers, editors, and finally printers.

Where, oh where were the proof readers among them?


I Remember … A Boomer Tribute

I remember …

SuePlaying outside after school, roaming the neighbourhood at will and only having to be home for tea.

Long trips in the car, sleeping in beds made up for us in the back of the station wagon. There were no seat belts in those days.

Watching The Lone Ranger, Wagon Train and Rin Tin Tin on TV, translating the stories into all the Cowboys and Indians games we played with the kids in our street.

Mr Magoo, My Favourite Martian, The Beverley Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie … and Richard Greene as Robin Hood.

The Mr Whippy Van and melting soft icecream in cones, with a Cadbury Flake chocolate protruding from the top.

Adults tapping their feet impatiently behind us, when we kids took ages to choose sixpence worth of mixed lollies from behind the glass counter at the milk bar.

Working proudly as an ‘ink monitor’. Mixing powder and water to make the ink then filling the inkwells in the desks

Building cubby houses, go karts and defendable forts out of boxes, sticks and other scraps we found around the yard.

When men first miraculously landed on the moon. A couple of hundred of us packed into the school hall, watching in wonder the grainy images on a black and white TV.

Seeing the Vietnam marches on TV. Wishing I could be there too, but my parents wouldn’t let me because I was too young.

SueTown hall dances, with their customary ‘progressive dance’ when the back of my dress became damp from sweaty hands that steered me around the dance floor

Purple brushed denim jeans, lime green and purple floral shirt and platform shoes.

And for all of you who also remember these things  …

… here’s an amusing update on our lives! :)


Lessons from Squirrels

Here are two great little ‘squirrel movies’, each with a message. :)

What persistence! This wee squirrel is a lovely reminder not to give up but keep trying until we reach our goals. And it’s also a reminder not to scorn a helping hand when one is offered!

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’. (Mary Anne Radmacher)

The second video was made as a commercial for EDS, an IT company.  It’s very amusing, but also reminds us that big is not always necessarily the best. The small and nimble can be just as powerful.

Or, as Anita Roddick of The Body Shop once said:

If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.


Stink Bombs

A wonderful evening spent with old friends recently, in which we talked about many things ‘from cabbages to kings’. One of my friends, John, is a primary teacher and shared this wonderful story.

He was sitting in the staff room with colleagues one day, when suddenly two Grade 6 girls ran, giggling, past the open window and flung two ‘stink bombs’ into the room.

Stink BombAs the stink permeated the staff room, teachers gasped and reacted with disgust and horror. John was the first to leap to his feet and race to the playground, where he caught up with the two miscreants.

The other teachers were obviously waiting to hear John give the girls a good ticking off, and no doubt smiled and nodded with approval as he began sternly, “Really girls! I am VERY disappointed in both of you! …”

But I imagine the expression on many faces changed as he continued, “I noticed both those stink bombs were bought from a shop!  That means you didn’t learn anything about what makes a stink bomb work, did you? In MY day, we made our own – we had to learn what to use and all about the sulphur that made them stink …. ”

Even as I laughed at this story, I also recognised some of those things that make John and others like him exceptional teachers. An appreciation of the ridiculous, a wonderful sense of humour and a passion for encouraging learning even when – and perhaps particularly when – children are ‘pushing the envelope’ or misbehaving.

So I wanted to share the story, with John’s permission, as a salute to him and all the other teachers who make learning – and life – so much fun for kids!


All Fools’ Day

Today, on All Fools’ Day, I’m launching into the blogosphere. A very appropriate day to begin! :)

It’s a day to remember the archetypal Fool – the innocent who represents beginnings and the realm of unknowing.

I don’t know where my wanderings will take me here, but I plan to celebrate stories and share reflections on various things that bubble up for me – while both enjoying and learning from the journey.  If others – you who are reading this – should also like to walk a part of the way with me, I’ll welcome your company.

There’s a great Wiki page on  All Fools’ Day – probably more than you’ve ever wanted to know. :)  I was fascinated to learn that the spirit of April Fools’ Day is alive and well in many other cultures around the world. And that one of the oldest prank days in the world is from Iran. There people play jokes on each other on the 13th day of the Persian New Year, which falls April 1 or April 2 and is called Sizdah Bedar.

However I admit I’m far more comfortable with the idea of an April Fool being someone who is starting on a quest for understanding,  rather than someone who is simply the victim of a prank. Practical jokes may be fun for the jokers,  but I believe a good rule of thumb is ‘it’s not a joke unless both people are laughing‘. And by that, I mean the kind of shared laughter that warms the spirit, not the kind that is gained at the expense of someone else’s wellbeing.

I know humour is a very subjective thing, and that people can laugh when uncomfortable or embarrassed – or even when frightened. Like a cat’s frightened purr perhaps. But from my point of view, the best kind of humour is that which is founded on warmth and a generous spirit. It’s an open invitation to be amused by the follies and foibles of human nature, including our own!

So as I start on my own Fool’s journey on this auspicious day, I’m looking forward to exploring the unknown and to sharing some laughter along the way.