Monday, October 09, 2006

while this blog will focus primarily upon experiences in Seoul, i'd be remiss to exclude particularly tasty morsels such as the following (the names are changed to protect the guilty):

despite my apathy toward voting and my generally non-partisan attitude, i receive email updates from the cook county (il) republican party. mostly, it's to track the goings on in the Barr-Topinka campaign, but in general, i like keeping up with the news. so about a month ago, i received the following email announcement:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Copyright 2006, All Rights Reserved


to most, this would seem a rather innocuous email. however, for me, this vindicated most of my personal apathy toward the political process. and not because i don't believe in the process itself, i do. the american republic is governed by an inspired system. it is the people who are involved in the process, those who devote themselves to it with blind ambition and personal agendas that are mostly to blame for its eroded credibility.

i was compelled to respond:

Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 7:34 PM
Subject: La Vida Grande

Dear Sir or Madam:

I receive emails from the cook country republicans and am concerned that your most recent, entitled "El Grand Vida", does not pass muster. In fact, I'll so far as to suggest that this missive disgraces the Spanish-speaking peoples everywhere. Did a native Spanish-speaker review or edit this? This type of "spanglish" displays a rather shallow contempt for the hispanic voters that have recently opened themselves up to your party. What is more, you underestimate the intelligence of your non-spanish-speaking constituents. Use proper Spanish: WE GET IT. You needn't bastardize both beautiful languages, Spanish and English, just to be "cutesy". I hope in the future that more consideration is paid to being intelligent and accurate. Best of luck against Ald. Stroger!

Your Friend,



"El Grand Vida" are you serious? i'm fluent in only one language, but even i can tell that this turn-of-a-phrase was objectionable. it's a terrible mish-mash of spanish and english. it abandons the grammatical strictures of both idioms. as usual, i was beside myself with rage over something pretty small, but satisfied to have said my piece. little did i know, they would respond:


Date: Sep 9, 2006 9:50 AM
Subject: Re: La Vida Grande

Mr. Logophile:

I am sorry that we offended you with this email. The event that you speak of is being thrown by the De La Paz Organization and the Illinois Republican Hispanic National Assembly. As far as I know the wording was written by a Spanish speaker. I have just checked the verbiage and realize the mistake and thank you for bringing that to our attention. On future emails, we will correct this.

We did not mean to insult you in anyway, and we hope that you will still attend the event.

Thank you,

Miss Smotherer Spinmeister

Date: Sep 9, 2006 10:24 AM
Subject: Apology

Mr. Logophile,

My name is *irrelevant* and I am the author of the flyer that you were displeased with.

I am truly sorry that I offended you. The flyer was written in the spirit of trying to bring together two distinctive cultures.

Please, except my personal invitation to the event in order that I may apologize to you in person.

If you have any further questions, I may be reached at 312-XXX-XXXX


Sent via BlackBerry from Cingular Wireless

for the record, i was not offended culturally. i was offended by their their idiotic inconsistency and overall poor form. in what way does concocting a nonsensical linguistic amalgam help bring cultures together? aren't native spanish speakers confused and offended by this bizarre creation? how does bilingualauthor have a job promoting anything in the public domain? after reading the responses, i became fully aware i was dealing with total morons and it would be unfair to continue with any efforts to bridge the cultural divide. if couldn't even avoid ending sentences with prepositions, if he couldn't tell the difference between 'accept' and 'except' than what good could i do here. though i wondered, perhaps he does literally mean to except me from the event. i wouldn't be surprised if this idiot was so concerned his secret illiteracy would become public that he knew precisely what he was hysterically typing from his blackberry.

also to be noted in the record, approximately 1 week later, September 13th abouts, i received another email invitation to this event, verbiage still incorrect.

the republican gubenatorial candidate is trailing in the polls. a noted journalist, she writes regularly for the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark. i'm not going to indict her journalistic integrity based solely upon her party peons, but you gotta wonder if this kind tolerance for mistakes starts at the top and trickles down...


John said...

I think even the most inept English speakers have seen enough Taco Bell commercials (or heard that damn Ricky Martin song played incessantly on the radio even though it sucked) to understand La Vida Grande rather than El Grand Vida. But it's good to see that you are calling out the language ruining idiots that are living la vida broken.

Anonymous said...

You should be proud to know that you have made your way in to the coveted Position #1 on my list of websites to check each morning, NMB.

Anonymous said...

especially the pictures with vulgarity!

Anonymous said...

Fox Sports fired Steve Lyons for mocking Lou Piniella's bilingualism. I believe Psycho said he didn't understand what Lou was "hablaing". Shouldn't someone at the IL Republican Party headquarters get 'hasta-ed'?