As journalists from across Europe flew into Dublin on Tuesday to mark Ireland’s EU presidency, there was one familiar face missing from the press room. French journalist Jean Quatremer refused his invitation, he said, for “reasons of principle”.
Swept in on a tide of twit-related terminology, ‘Twitterati’ is a veritable newcomer to the English language, but its roots lie in a term relating to the literary snobs of the 17th century, and a 1950s stint in showbusiness.
Anyone who’s been to China or checked around the English blogosphere about China have all come across a widespread phenomenon on the mainland : Chinglish ! A famous –and infamous- mix between Chinese and English, and usually a bad one too. They can be found on official road signs, shops signs, railway stations, airports, parks…well, actually anywhere and everywhere. Some of us may actually have tweeted about them, created facebook groups or blogs to spreading the laugh around. And resource, as it seems, is endless.
In 2008, as the Olympic Games were approaching, the government reportedly hired foreigners to clean the walls –and save the face of the country-. But here we are, two years later, and it seems that –to our immense pleasure- they didn’t do such a great job. And let’s be honest Chinese people don’t really care if the English words on their shop signs are spelt wrong or not : it always makes for a good picture for the tourists to bring back home and why not, they might also want a little refreshment before hitting the road again.