Thursday, May 14, 2015

Adventures in English . . .

Un-Cowed by Destiny

In the print version of Wednesday's Korea Herald, Claire Lee's article, "Women more vulnerable to workplace bullying" (May 13, 2015), contained one great howler due to faulty software for recognizing proper syllabification in dividing one of the words at the end of a line (though I reckon two out of three ain't bad):
Among the witnesses, 61.3 per-
cent said the bullying they had
seen was "very serious." Also, 58.3
percent said they have had a cow-
orker who left work after being bul-
lied by their bosses or colleagues.
Note the nonexistent word "cow-orker"! Now, if only "bul-lied" had been divided as "bull-ied," we'd have had a truly weird couple of howlers that would - I hasten to add, but hesitate to say - have somehow fit the article's underlying theme of sexual harassment (which I take seriously, of course).

Incidentally, on my way to the book launch that I attended two days ago (May 12th), I grew confused by the lack of street signs (such that my rough, hand-drawn map was of little help), so I stopped to ask directions from a woman sheltering herself from the gusty rain at the entrance to an underground parking lot. She was very helpful, quickly locating the place by means of her smartphone and explaining how to get there. "Go straight down this street," she said, pointing at my map, "and you'll reach your destiny."

Apparently, the book launch was a more serious engagement than I had expected, but perhaps my meeting the Canadian ambassador was foreseen by that woman and holds some special significance for my life . . .



At 4:34 AM, Anonymous Tom Ball said...

Strictly speaking, no matter which direction you went at that point, you would still reach your destiny. N'est-ce pas?

At 4:59 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Ah, yes, paradox of fate and free will. Like an appointment in Samarra . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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