…And this is why hiring people who speak proper English is a good idea [Image]

fail_MSI

Say what? Can anyone translate that message for me?

In all seriousness, before I get flamed, let me be clear I’m not making fun of non-English native speakers. I myself am not a native speaker of English; as many of you can attest, I often make comical grammatical errors. And I understand if a small developer and/or company based outside an English speaking country cannot afford to hire someone who has proper English skills. However, MSI (a tech company based in Taiwan) is hardly a small business. So for them to offer a program (looks like it is the BIOS of a computer but I cannot say for sure) in English and hire someone who speaks English as shown above is, well, pathetic.

[via Reddit]

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25 comments

  1. jayesstee

    [@JMJ]
    “”Please define your definition of “persuaded” . . . . ”
    I jest, because I just can’t believe that the good folks of America would have willingly broken away.   The imposed taxes and other pressures must have been to “encourage” the the American residents to become independent.
    Anyway, good sparring with you again and a message from your e-adoptee, he is sober and getting younger every day!

  2. JMJ

    [@Mags] Hello, Mags. I am grateful to Ashraf & Company for providing a place for persons like you, Marchar and me to voice opinions and to make observations. It is a good thing when people converse, even contentiously, as long as politeness and respect are constant watchwords. It is also a good thing for individuals and groups of individuals to speak out when there is a perceived lack of politeness and respect directed at any other individual or group of individuals. Martin Niemöller makes my point far better than I when he said:

    “First they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    ********************************************************
    Note: This is an American iteration of the “quote”.
    There are others.
    ********************************************************

    I am not implying that anyone here, including Machar, is Nazi-like. I am, however, adamant that, in every community to which we belong — including the dotTech community, it is our obligation to defend each other’s right to agree or disagree as we are informed and to be able to make human errors without being vilified and ridiculed because of language, national origin, race, gender, etc., nor for the peculiarities (including misspellings of foreign words) that likely attend membership in any such group, in this instance, Taiwanese.

    Simply, in addition to my liking to opine, I spoke up because I take umbrage at the intolerant tone that I perceive in some of the preceding posts. Therefore, I respectfully disagree with your charming characterization of this “disagreement” as “stoopid”.

    As long as I do not offend and as long as the Owner/Operator/BOSS of this site permits, I will not impose a one (or-two-or three) post limit on myself as my glaringly disingenuous interlocutor claims to have done.

    Thank you, and again jayesstee, for lightening the mood with your mature, reasoned statements.
    However and even though you misspelled yet another word in saying so, “Let’s agree…” to disagree. ;-)

    Kind regards to all.

    — JMJ

  3. Machar

    Couldn’t agree more, Mags. This exchange has reminded me why I imposed a ‘single posting only’ on myself years ago. Getting sucked into online ‘discussions’ is enough to drive anyone doolally after a while! I’m impressed that you managed to get as far down the posts as you did – viewing from the outside I would have lost interest far earlier.

    Re dyslexia – one of my dyslexic friends in the past said that he took up crosswords to try and help himself. He reckoned it was a very slow process but he’d gradually increased the difficulty of the puzzles over the years from the ‘quick’ variety right up to cryptic crosswords in the broadsheets. Might be worth a try! :-)

  4. Mags

    Holy cow! (how’s that for the English language?)

    After reading up to half way through post #16 I gave up. Enough already! The English language isn’t worth getting into an argument about.

    Lets just agree or disagree with everyone’s opinion and leave it at that.

    One thing to point out is that the English language (and other languages) is evolving and changing and has been for centuries. (even before the Americans made their own changes to it)

    Yes the English language is very complex and not easy to learn, especially for non native speakers. But they are not the only ones who find it difficult. They are many others (like myself and my son where English is their native language) who are Dyslexic who constantly struggle with the language.

    So lets just leave it at that and stop this “stoopid” disagreement.

  5. JMJ

    [@jayesstee] You are such a gentleman. And, yes, it is safe to come out from behind the sofa. As a matter of fact, it’s being 4 o’clock, please join Machar and me for tea and biscuits. Though, strangely, he has yet to R.S.V.P. :-(

    There’s nothing like thumbing through the pages of the unabridged Oxford dictionary or the Encyclopaedia Britannica (I like the British spelling.) but, recently, I have relied on “WordWeb Pro” for its one-click dictionaries/thesauri functionalities.

    Please don’t tell Machar, jayesstee, but the English and Australians have always been my favorite non-American peoples: the former, not the least because of their incredibly heroic stand against Hitler; and, the latter, because they are an olio of a people, like mine, and have always stood with America in times of trouble. The only soccer match I’ve ever attended was as the guest of one of my oldest and dearest friends who introduced me to his hometown team, Manchester United. So, please do not take seriously my trolling Machar. Besides, as you well know, there is a British Young Man I’ve e-adopted in order to check his homework and to keep away from beer and barleycorn. ;-)

    Like you note in your Home, there are many places here in the United States where I have to listen very carefully to understand the ‘dialect’ of my fellow American-English speakers and must be mindful of the differences in meanings of some words. I love it!

    Please define your definition of “persuaded” , as used above and guide me to a discussion of the mechanisms by which the ancient UK might have become another of the adolescent United States of America. Should make for interesting reading.

    I agree with you, and the gravamen of this post, that youngsters (and many adults) are being de-educated (Yes, I made up that hyphenated word.) by the use of text-speak, spell/grammar-checkers and just plain acceptance of sloppy speech and writing…. in whatever language. However, the “pseudo ‘Caribbean-speak'” you mention might simply be a passing, youthful iconoclastic fad similar to the one you and I probably passed through when “cool”, “hip”, “with it” entered the lexicon. The universality of music, video games, cinema, videos and, of course, the Internet seem to be driving this phenomenon. I am amazed and amused when I see the exact same kid in Seoul that I see in San Francisco wearing his oversized jeans around his butt, dancing the same dances and rapping the same (c)rap. All-in-all, this may be a good thing for tamping down the nationalistic fervors that have caused so much grief for our Planet…. my picking at Machar, notwithstanding. ;-)

    Thanks for you calm reasoned comments, even though they interrupted what I hoped would be a good series of parry-ripostes. You adults ruin all my fun. ;-)

    Ciao.

    — JMJ

  6. jayesstee

    [@Machar] [@DoktorThomas]
    Hey you Guys, is it safe for me to come out from behind the sofa?
    Let me declare my position. I’m a Brit, through and through (thru & thru), with many years of experience dealing with organisations in the USA and Canada. My chosen dictionaries are an old tatty “Oxford” and a 25 year old copy of “The American Heritage Dictionary” (much younger than the Oxford).
    First of all we have got over 1776, some centuries ago. In fact some believe that had we not persuaded America to leave the Empire, the UK would have become another US State.
    Secondly, the difference in the two versions of the language is so minimal to make no effect on those of us brought up on US films initially and later, US TV programs. Truth to tell, we have more difficulty communicating with other regions of the UK. The differences between the UK south and north regions each with their local words and word usage are surprising and are often less than differences between the US and UK.
    Thirdly, some learned sources (could be American) believe that American English is closer to 18th century (English) English.
    Far more worrying are the twin trends exhibited by youngsters of ‘text-speak’ and pseudo ‘Caribbean- speak’. The former has virtually no grammar and the latter uses a minimal form of grammar.

  7. DoktorThomas

    No reason to point out foreign renditions of American English, the natives are equally challenged. Spelling, grammar and wrong words are common place, as implied above. (This overlooks the ability to comprehend, think and articulate a complete thought.) In the USA, as long the fed.gov runs education, the proletariat will be more and more uneducated every year; e.g., the ability to write cursive is no longer taught as a subject. The apparent goal of the progressive totalitarian Democrats is a completely dependent populous living in a chaotic world of joblessness and crime. If you are lucky enough to live elsewhere make sure your government rebuffs the fed.gov at every level; it is the most evil organization on the planet.

  8. JMJ

    [@Machar] [@Machar] Thank you, somewhat kind sir, for you congratulations. I am special, aren’t I?

    I demur to your re-direction of my attention to the putative “thrust” of your original posts in favor of continuing this entertaining tête-à-tête. Why should I let a self-serving revision of the facts deter me? ;-)

    Your ad hominem characterizations notwithstanding, you offer no compelling reason for me to retreat from the assertion that your spelling of “proofread” is incorrect other than the more-than- whiff of pedantry invoked to deny your error. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am brick-wall stubborn when better FACTS are not provided to rebut mine.

    I am not laboring under the misapprehension that North America was the first Continent influenced by the English language. I am, however, asserting that American English is far more influential and widely spoken in the modern World than is British English, especially since the nineteenth-century decline and rise of Britain and the United States, respectively, as players on the world stage. And, while it may have been the East India Trading Company that was the first government-sanctioned entity to trade in the Indian subcontinent, it is highly doubtful that it was not preceded by English-speaking individuals, including pirates.

    ASIDE:
    My, my, but you do love your hyphens, do you not, my learned friend? The word “subcontinent”, like proofread, is NOT to be hyphenated…. even according to the decidedly BRITISH Oxford Dictionary.

    American English is nothing if not a beautiful fugue of nearly every language spoken on Earth, including the named Arabic, Hindi and Urdu. While the Colonies and, later, the United States of America were increasing in size and number during the 17th -thru- 20th centuries, American English was being spread in the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere, contrary to your assertions. For example, and regrettably like Britain, America was interfering in the affairs of other nations well before the 20th Century. You do remember the Chinese Boxer Rebellion, don’t you?

    I applaud Spencer-Churchill for not being a whinging pom like Neville Chamberlain and so many other of his countrymen who cowardly betrayed Czechoslovakia and Austria hoping that the bogeyman would not come for them. It was probably the American in Spencer-Churchill that, with the heroics of the French at Dunkerque and later the unstinting help, succor and assistance of we bastardised-English speaking Americans (See? Your words ARE chosen to offend.), enabled him to stand and admonish his lagging countrymen to finally stand against injustice. Point of fact: Spencer-Churchill did not LEAD England/Britain into war; rather, it/they were dragged kicking and screaming into it when whinging, betrayal and appeasement proved ineffectual. Has England/Britain acted as heroically as your revisionist telling would imply, then Hitler would have been stopped the moment he quietly violated the Treaty of Versailles in 1935 and did so brazenly in 1938.

    It is the epitome of ingratitude and (generously) disingenuousness, Machar, to suggest that America “sat back” while England/Britain reaped the fruits of its/their cowardly hiding from events. We fed you! We armed you! We shed American blood for you! We kept your Spitfires and Hurricanes fueled! We built ships faster than the Germans could sink them, filled those ships with American goods that you could not hope to pay for and then sailed them with American sailors to your shores… and began doing so ever since you dropped your weapons and ran/swam/floated from the field of battle in May, 1940. Without we Americans, our mutually revered Winston Spencer-Churchill would never have been able to crow about any “finest hour”. Specious hyphens and all, we Americans saved your collective and individual asses.

    World War II was only World War I after the usual, brief, European intermission from chaos. We Americans saved you from yourselves then, too.

    So, even at this late date, a hyphenated “thank-you” is the very least you should offer America.

    As to your “best solution” : The victors write the history… and the language. WE, America, tell you how to speak. Britain was, America IS. Need proof? We are conversing via an American invention. What has England/Britain done lately to move the World forward? Oh, yeah! You do do good royal weddings, not Hollywood caliber entertainment but good enough, I guess.

    In any event, we both probably will be speaking Chinese before this century is finished.

    My comment to jayesstee was private. :-p How dare you read other gentlemen’s mail! [Of course, you recognize that as a paraphrase (Note: no hyphen.) of a comment by one of your WWII-era (Note: Correct use of hyphen.) politicians in response to a question about espionage.]

    I visit England at least 3-4 times per year and look forward to not meeting you unless and until you recant your scurrilous remarks about Hollywood! BTW: If you guys held no hard feelings about getting spanked by the Colonists, then what was that 1812 dustup** all about?

    Thanks again for ranting and railing with me.

    Good night.

    ** See? Again, no hyphen.

  9. Machar

    @JMJ – First let me congratulate you on having earballs. Must make hat-wearing a challenge though! :-)

    Again I have to direct your attention to the main thrust of both of my original posts. The anecdotes that take up most of them are illustrations of how native English speakers can easily make mistakes, either by not reading what they have written or through ignorance of cross-cultural effects. In both cases they would have caught the ‘mistakes’ had they used several more sets of eyes and/or earballs in the proof-reading process.

    As your mind is obviously not open to any variation from what you believe is the ‘correct’ spelling of proof-reading I shan’t pursue the matter. Brick walls do not lend themselves to head-bashing.

    The richness of the English language has been evolving since it first reached England (and other parts of Great Britain) some 1600 years ago. However, it really started to blossom from the late 16th century when the British Empire started to grow. Our ancestors spread it across the world, not just into North America as you seem to think. It was the British East India Company that initially took it into the Indian sub-continent and further eastwards. The corollary of this spread was the massive influx of so-called loan words from Arabic, Hindi, Urdu etc. into English. Of course, relatively few of these words made it into American English because American focus was on expanding and acquiring new states, especially to the south and west of your continent. With the possible exception of Japan in the 19th century, the international influence of American English wasn’t seen much until the 20th century, when major developments in manufacturing expanded the USA trading network.

    As for Churchill, half Yank or not, at least he had the balls to take us into war against the Axis powers, whatever the odds. We didn’t sit back for two and a half years, ignoring the conflict in favour of making profits from trading with Germany, Italy et al. Come to that, we didn’t sit back in the First World War either, in 1914.

    English is English. The best resolution would be for the language of the USA to be renamed as ‘American’. Allow us to continue to relish the richness of our language as we see fit, and you can continue to bastardise American in whatever fashion.

    Re your last comment to jayesstee, if you ever visit the UK you’ll find that none of us give a tuppenny whatsit about 1776. FWIW my clan was one of many fighting the forebears of the same Hanoverians who mismanaged America, a generation or so earlier. In many ways we applaud the American move for independence, and I’ve never ever known any other Brits who harboured any resentment over American independence. Our ancestors had bigger fish to fry and far more important concerns at the time and afterwards.

    My recommendation to you is to rein in your belief in everything that comes out of Hollywood and the US TV industry. They tell a LOT of fibs! (That’s an English word meaning lies). ;-)

  10. JMJ

    [@Machar] Greetings! Pardon if I offended; however, your copious use of words like, “annoying”, “clumsy”, “pointless”, “inelegant” and “gripes” does sound like railing to my earballs. Can you imagine how such words fall on the eye/earballs of those non-native-English speaking dotTechies, for example, who read your superbly educated, erudite and not-as-kind-as-they-could-be words?

    Your and Mags’ misspelling of the word “proofread” is just that, a misspelling. A broader or narrower “view” of English does not change that fact, especially not when we are *not-railing* about numpties’ who are goat-getting native speakers of English and are simply too lazy to read a dictionary, thereby, resulting in their annoying, clumsy, pointless, inelegant use of the English language ….

    That bit of barbed but good-natured sarcasm out of the way, I completely agree with your opinion as to the positivity of the fluidity and maddening flexibility of English. Unlike you, I am not sufficiently expert in my second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth languages (Latin, German, French, ki-Swahili, Mandarin Chinese) to offer an opinion about them. Do you think that English’s use as the de facto standard world language contributes to its evolving richness? And, if so, won’t it necessarily come to incorporate some of the characteristics of the languages spoken by those for whom it is a second language simply by their homologating it for their uses?

    I stand corrected regarding “set of eyes”.

    Thank you for “numpty”. Never heard it before.

    Regarding where and how and from whom you learned English, Machar, let’s be clear :

    We Americans took your Colonies and your language circa 1776. You know: To the victors belong the spoils. Since then, America has been THE teacher of English. In fact, had we not lent you the American half of Winston Spencer-Churchill long about 1940, you would have been learning German in England from teachers who were Gerbrits.

    Good thing, too, that we took and fixed your English. I mean, who in their right mind would take a torch into their basement instead of a flashlight to check for a gas leak? What of the gastric distress caused by having loud, disruptive bangers at dinner rather than a quiet, civilized hotdog or sausage? And, don’t get me started on boot-vs-trunk, lift-vs-elevator. Sheesh!

    Thanks for the informative discussion and for permitting me to not-rail at a (mis?)perceived slight to our fellow non-native-American speaking Earthlings.

    Best regards.

  11. Machar

    @JMJ – Railing about? If that’s truly how you view my posts then I suggest you re-read them. My contributions were focused far more on anecdotes illustrating the breadth of scope for _anyone_ to make mistakes, let alone our very human predisposition towards making typos. As for your assertion that Mags and I misspelled ‘proof-read’ I suggest you take a less narrow view of English. The term may be written as two words, a hyphenated compound or a compound word.

    When I was learning English at school, a couple of lifetimes ago, in England, from teachers who were all also English, I was taught the form that I used today. One of the beautiful aspects of English is its flexibility but, unfortunately, it is being forced down more regimented, ‘regularised’ roads, frequently by people whose cultural/linguistic backgrounds lack such flexibility. Please don’t encourage them. We don’t need the regularity of Italian, the strictly (and officially) limited vocabulary of the French, and the over-reliance on compound words as in German.

    Obviously we should all be very forgiving of anyone writing in a language that isn’t native to them. Aside from my postgraduate studies in neuropsychology, which related to specific aspects of semantics, in the past I’ve also completed a course in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Anyone who feels even a whiff of pedantry coming on should take a similar course. It’s a truly humbling experience and one that highlights just how much we take for granted about our own language. It also _fully_ brings home just how hard it is for speakers of other languages to learn English.

    The only people who really get my goat are those native speakers of English who are simply too lazy to read a dictionary or to at least try to get to grips with our admittedly erratic ‘rules’. They are the numpties who don’t deserve forgiveness. And yes, ‘set of eyes’, as used by Mags, is a perfectly normal and legitimate usage. ;)

  12. JMJ

    @Ashraf, @Mags, @Machar, et alia : Your points, insights (especially Mags’ psycho-perceptual) and grouses are mostly valid, IMHO. However, I think you all are creating a tempest in a teacup. For example, both Mags and Machar appear to be very intelligent, well-informed people who clearly advocate more careful use of language, in this case English. Yet, both also repeatedly misspell the very word they are railing about; i.e., *proofread*. :-)

    Also, I ask: Is the use of the term *set of eyes* appropriate or correct? Doesn’t *set* imply more than two?

    As an undergrad at an American Ivy League university, I earned a few bucks editing/ proofreading original research for doctoral candidates. I also have edited two published, non-fiction books and believe I have a decent command of the English language. Yet, even here on good old dotTech, I have caught many of my own errors way too late to use the “edit” button. I’m sure many more of my errors never caught my eye.

    My point is simply that, in our World-wide community made possible by computers and the Internet, we should be far, FAR more forgiving of the linguistic errors made by those who have taken the time and done the hard work of learning (however incompletely) to speak to us in OUR language! To err is Human but to forgive is for wimps…. I mean, Divine. :-)

    jayesstee is the only commenter here who seems to have taken a positive approach to the matter at hand. HE TRIED TO UNDERSTAND what was being said to him by other Human Beings.

  13. Machar

    I’d add the following to your list of confused homophones, Mags: discreet/discrete, compliment/complement, and principle/principal. But the relatively recent and disturbingly increasing confusion over ‘then’ and ‘than’ can’t really be put down to similar pronunciation, unless the people confusing them have particularly sloppy pronunciation (and no access to a dictionary).

    Also annoying is the superfluous use of ‘of’ in sentences, especially by people in the computing industry who really should understand about ‘elegant’ use of language. For example ‘John got off of the bike’ is exactly the same as ‘John got off the bike’ in meaning. The additional word, however small, is inelegant, clumsy and completely pointless. What sort of programmer would add a pointless term into their code?

    Enough gripes though, and another story for the more mature Dottechies that illustrates the dangers of assuming knowledge of English. There once was a major American computer company called Wang that made its name primarily on sales of WP systems in the 1970s-80s. Every year they brought together their top sales teams worldwide to a conference in the US where they celebrated their success (and these ‘Wangers’ were amongst the most successful anywhere, frequently earning even more than the legendary IBMers and Xeroids). One year in the early 1980s they held their customary conference, hosted by the founder Dr Wang, who, after an appropriately long build-up, introduced the company slogan for the forthcoming year. In the manner of royalty and celebrities everywhere he pulled a rope that released the covering over the banner bearing the slogan. The British and Aussie teams promptly dissolved in mirth, laughing out loud at what was revealed, while their hosts scratched their heads in puzzlement.

    The two word slogan was: ‘Wang Cares’.

    Even now I suspect that most Americans will probably not see the humour in this but at least some Canadians might. I know that native English speakers (as opposed to native speakers of American English) will understand the humour, and perhaps irony, in the slogan though. ;)

  14. jayesstee

    [@Ashraf]   You ask:
    “Can anyone translate that message for me?”
    Step #1:   Substitute ‘WHOLE’ for ‘HOLE’.
    Step #2:   Substitute ‘The SETUP data supplied is insufficient, so unable to load the User defaults!’ for ‘The SETUP data is not equal the WHOLE,So can not Load USER defaults!
    Any better ideas?

  15. Mags

    [@Ashraf] My point is that proof reading should not be left to one person, or the person who created the document, or as above, some kind of notification.

    Yes the above was unforgivable; clearly it wasn’t someone who speaks proper English. Either that or the person was drunk when it was written LOL.

    As Machar pointed out our language is very complex and relying only on spelling and grammar checkers just doesn’t cut it.

    To add to the problem, there are also differences in spelling between countries (i.e. color in US and colour in GB and Canada etc.) There are also differences in words used (i.e. boot in GB where US and Canada we use trunk, as in car trunk.) There are so many things to take into consideration.

    There is also the point that our eyes don’t always see what is printed in front of us. We often overlook a mistake simply because we might not see an error due to the fact that we expect to see a certain word, even though it may be mis-spelt, and therefore it gets missed. (Hope I explained it clearly enough)

    That is why it is important to have another set of eyes proof read.

    Some examples of the problems with the English language”: their, there, they’re… or as above whole, hole. And of course one of my pet peeves – advise, advice. So many times I see advise when it should be advice and vice versa.

    As for Ashraf, we know and understand that English isn’t your native language and we tend to overlook the small mistakes you make from time to time.

  16. TxnBob70

    After reading the above comments I couldn’t resist this one (and it is old)

    I is a college graduate I really are.

    We all need to go back to the old days, proof-reading what we have written before submitting it to the web or to a teacher.
    Check the complicated spellings of AMERICAN English which is different from the UK English in usage. Example: Hood of a car is the Bonnet of the car in UK English. Poof used to be “disappear” now in a lot of places it refers to a gay person (horrible, horrible!!!) I could go on but everyone here seems to get the idea.
    I really like the site and enjoy the comments
    Thanks for all the hard work
    Bob

  17. Machar

    @Ashraf – Sorry to do this to you mate but ‘should of’ is a serious grammatical error in English. The correct form, ‘should have’, is often shortened to ‘should’ve’ which has led to people hearing this abbreviation thinking erroneously that people are actually saying ‘of’ instead of ‘have’.

    Meantime, getting back on topic, over-reliance on spell/grammar-checkers has led to the significant increase in errors. English is notoriously full of exceptions, both in spelling and grammar, and the complexity of our language really requires proper proof-reading, as Mags pointed out.

    Proof-reading is not only important for regular text, however. My favourite story goes back to the late 70s when a large Canadian leasing company opened a UK operation. The people behind it were native English speakers but still failed the proof-reading test. It was my boss at the time, while in a business meeting with them, who pointed out the problem of how their name could be read. Within a couple of weeks they had changed the name from ‘PHH UK’ to PHH GB Ltd…

  18. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@Mags] The issue is this isn’t simply a typo error that would have been caught via proofreading. It is just poor English — whoever wrote it should of either been assigned a different task or never hired in the first place if English skills are a requirement of the job.

  19. Mags

    For big business that is definitely a no no.

    However, this can and does happen to to even English speaking companies (big and small)

    This is why a second pair of eyes is needed to proof read, especially if a big company.

    Prime example I previously worked for a midsized company where only one person was responsible for putting out the company business report. Unfortunately it went to the printer before it was discovered that the company name was misspelled.