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zird is the word [userpic]
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.
mood: perplexed
music: Jayhawks—Bad Time


Oh man, I get so annoyed when Swedes (or any other non-native English speaker) argues with me about the use of English words. It's just so ridiculous!

"Forge a path to the dictionary..." I love that!! hahahahaha I don't chide them completely on this issue, as just speaking a language doesn't necessarily make one an expert...just look at most of the people we see on Ricki Lake or Jerry Springer after all!

However, if they can tell a person is well-spoken, as I can nowadays with most Swedish speakers, I usually know which ones to ask about a word or phrase, and which ones to avoid like the plague. And you'd think they could tell that we are articulate enough to know what we're talking about. And in any case, if they're not going to believe us, why did they ask in the first place?

And now I read over that, and it makes less sense in writing than it did in my head, so I'll just leave off now. :) Silly me!

October 2019
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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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