"demand for higher quality tipple"?
Yesterday's Korea Herald printed an article by Yoo Soh-jung, "Fine wine imports surge 31%" (March 8, 2007), but which appears online under a slightly altered title: "Fine wine imports surge 17%."
The discrepancy occurs due to a conflation of two different surges. The offline and online editions are identical except for the titles, so the online copy isn't correcting the data presented in the offline article's details. Here are the article's two relevant paragraphs, and once you've read them, you'll begin to understand why the confusion occurred:
Wine imports totaled 22,195 tons in 2006, a 31 percent jump from the 18,984 tons in 2005, according to data released by the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation and Korea Agricultural Trade information.The offline original would seem to have made an error by conflating the 31% increase in total wine sales with the 17% increase in sales of fine wines. I'd also suggest that the words "jump" (for the 31% increase) and "soared" (for the 17% increase) might have added to the confusion, for they would fit better if reversed to read "soared" (for the 31% increase) and "jumped" (for the 17% increase).
At the same time, demand for higher quality tipple has soared, with total imports last year worth $88.6 million, representing a 17 percent increase from the $67.7 million posted in 2005.
However, the problems in the numbers run deeper, for the statistics themselves are reversed. If total wine imports increased from 18,984 tons in 2005 to 22,195 tons in 2006, then that rise of 3,211 tons is 17% (not 31%). Similarly, if total higher quality wine imports increased from $67.7 million in 2005 to $88.6 million in 2006, then that rise of 20.9 million is 31% (not 17%).
This means that both the offline original and the online copy had the statistics reversed -- which also means that the original, offline title was correct in stating "Fine wine imports surge 31%" despite the misquoted percentages in the article itself. The online copy now needs to repost the original title and switch the percentages:
Wine imports totaled 22,195 tons in 2006, a 17 percent jump from the 18,984 tons in 2005, according to data released by the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation and Korea Agricultural Trade information.Perhaps the ones responsible for all of these errors had been imbibing some of that "higher quality tipple"?
At the same time, demand for higher quality tipple has soared, with total imports last year worth $88.6 million, representing a 31 percent increase from the $67.7 million posted in 2005.
Incidentally -- though I may be wrong here -- but isn't "higher quality tipple" something of an oxymoron? Shakespeare has Caesar denigrate his opponent Antony by suggesting that "tippling" befits one so foolish and low-class:
. . . Let's grant it is notAnd Ambrose Bierce puts "tipple" in rash company:
Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy,
To give a kingdom for a mirth, to sit
And keep the turn of tippling with a slave,
To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet
With knaves that smell of sweat. Say this becomes him...
(Antony and Cleopatra, Act 1, Scene 4)
TOPE, v. To tipple, booze, swill, soak, guzzle, lush, bib, or swig. (The Devil's Dictionary)But perhaps an Early Modern English source like Shakespeare and an ironic source like Bierce are not the most authoritative sources, and maybe I've had too limited experience tippling to judge on the linguistic appropriateness of the expression "higher quality tipple." Or possibly, my experience with English is still too 'American.'
Whatever the case may be (and I welcome input), may fine wines -- no matter what we call them -- surge, resurge, flood, and utterly inundate Korea's liquor market.