Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Monday, January 28, 2008

Meet the Black Giant With Valiant Temperament

I don't normally make fun of Engrish because it's too easy. (Well, there was that one time, but it wasn't Engrish, just a translation open to immature interpretation.)

Plus no matter how egregious the error, their English is still better than my Chinese (or Japanese, etc.).

So, I'll just take a higher road and riff on the All Things Considered story from the Detroit Auto Show a few weeks ago) and say that the product listing for their SUV, the Liebao CFA2030C/D(Black Giant) with the valiant temperament, shows how far Chinese automakers, and Chang Feng Motors in particular, need to go before they can crack the U.S. market. [link via a redlit TotalFark submission]

Besides some standard English conventions that are annoying in their absence (spaces after commas, that sort of thing), it's clear that they need a native or otherwise fluent English copy editor:
"...The automobile appearance is more mighty and more intrepid ! With the powerful engine,the design of environmental protection and energy-conservation.All these present to your perfect driving and experience,seem more majestic-looking even more!"
Among the listed features, we have:
  • ABS anti-explode device
  • Anticollision pole
  • Axes: 2
  • Imposing manner
  • Double safe gasbag
  • Genuine leather sofa
  • Pillow
  • Semiconductor refrigerator
And much more.

Now, this is far from the worst Engrish you'll ever see, since you can pretty much see where the translations took a left turn.

Though I'm not sure about the semiconductor refrigerator.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

What's the Female Equivalent of a Sausagefest?

I went to a house party in Crystal City on Saturday night. I guess the operative term would be closer to "crashed", since I went with a friend who had, at best, a second-degree connection to the host.

It was a holiday theme party -- the suggested dress was "wear white," which runs you the risk of looking like you're going to a Backstreet Boys album cover shoot or a circuit party, neither of which are particularly appealing to me at this point in my life.

But hey, a party is a party, right? Especially when it's billed as having a "shortage of single men." (Sold!)

I would have worn my white jeans, which may have been acid-washed at some point but are now completely white, but fortunately they no longer fit. So I just went with a pair of light khakis and a white t-shirt.

We got to the party, which did start out with a highly favorable female ratio, though things evened out over the course of the night. Most of the folks had a connection through the Peace Corps, Foreign Service, or Columbia grad school. (Me, I took the Foreign Service exam but didn't make it past the oral interview. However, it turns out my sister knows a bunch of those folks -- additionally, she went to high school with someone there. Small world.)

It was a good party. Although at one point they -- okay, we -- were dancing, clapping, and yes, singing along with Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend (Hey. Hey. You. You.).

Okay, but What's a Female Sausagefest?

On the way there, I was trying to figure out the female equivalent of the slang term sausagefest. Outside of the obvious Seven Sisters jokes, I couldn't really think of anything, so I did a little looking around.

The question has been asked plenty of times before, but I don't think there's a consensus answer, or at least not one that rules the roost like sausagefest does. There are a few "taco" variants which are mildly amusing and seem to be in the lead.

"Hen" terms (hen house, hen party) just seem really antiquated, and they share the same problem as some of the "estrogen" suggestions, in that they don't feature any anatomical vulgarity. (Whereas a few of the "fish"-based variants have a bit too much. Yes, we're defining people by their anatomical characteristics, but we don't have to be nasty about it.)

Sampling around the internets: "Lilith Fair" was funny but it's too dated now; I don't think the ladies would go for "Clam Bake" (it gets an adolescent giggle from me, though I think the anti-Scientology people also have a claim to the term); "Box Social" is just way too obscure and anachronistic; "Pie Party" has the alliteration going for it and would seem to work, but I dunno, something just doesn't seem quite right... I will have to think about it more.

And, of course, there are a bunch of other ones that are either too vulgar or too sexualized. So I don't think we have a clear-cut winner just yet.

Part of the issue, I think, is that there are many more situations where men far outnumber women, when it's also not the desired outcome. If you're a guy, this means parties, but it also applies to, say, corporate boards of directors, or Congress, where everybody (well, nearly everybody) wants to have more chicks involved.

I'm having a hard time thinking of situations that skew heavily female that aren't self-segregated to some degree. Some professions are still predominately female -- teachers, nurses, dental hygienists, flight attendants. Also, apparently stay-at-home dads run into many situations that call to mind the female version of a sausagefest. But it's just not the same thing.

Anyway, if you have your own suggestion for a female analog to "sausagefest," I'd like to hear it.

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