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COUNTERFEIT
The other day at work I was asked to proofread a page that included instructions on how our company is trying to create a common company culture. The person who wrote it originally does not have the best English skills and there were a lot of things that had been translated literally from Swedish, so it was more work than I expected. One phrase that had been used was "find new ways" (hitta nya vägar), and it sounded very Swenglish to me in the context that was wanted (finding AND making) so I changed it to "forge new paths" instead.

He came back later and said that he had reacted quite strongly to the word forge and had asked two other Swedes, who both agreed with him, that it was a negative word. At this point, I'm just staring at him with a blank look on my face. WTF? Then he says, "you know, like forging MONEY."

OOOOH THAT kind of forge!

I explained that "forge" isn't a negative word and that, in fact, while the ACT of forging money is a negative thing in a societal context, the word ITSELF has many other uses, none of them negative.

He wouldn't believe me and I finally said, fine, use "find new paths" just to get him to go away.
perplexed
mood: perplexed
music: Jayhawks—Bad Time


Comments

Ugh! Tell the guy to forge a path to the dictionary!

There were a few like that when I started at my company, but after a while they figured out that I have a Masters in English, and _do_ actually know what I'm talking about. I still get the odd argument, but if I can point to a reason why, they're usually happy to back down.

Don't give up next time. Forge is an excellent word, and forging a new path has so much more imagery than find. There are plenty of words in Swedish that mean more than one thing. Fjäder, just to name one.

Sorry for babbling. This kind of ignorance (on his part) just irritates me, especially when it comes to my baby, language issues. :)

LOL! I'll try your suggestion about forging a path to the dictionary, wish I'd thought of saying that!! I don't usually give up very easily, but this guy is just such a humorless pain-in-the-ass, I couldn't wait to get him out of my office.

Ahh, one of those. Understood. :)

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