OR 33 reasons why this document should have never made it past the proof readers! And by this document I don’t mean my blog post because my blog post doesn’t need 33 reasons to not make it past proof readers. Its probably a good thing that it doesn’t have proof readers (or maybe a not so good thing if I need to look at it from your point of view!)
Before I confuddle you any further, let me get straight into the story. A lot of us I’m sure have been at this stage where I was that evening. A long day of early flights and productive meetings and a few more to go in the evening- you have a break for about an hour when you come back to your room just to let your brain charge for a bit. My idea of brain charging includes flipping through all the magazines (the touristy ones not the serious ones) left on the coffee table and going through the all the facilities offered by the hotel, studying the in-room dining menu to decide what I definitely would not be eating and so on. Essentially just vegetate and yet not fall asleep I suppose.
So when I came across an A4 pamphlet with a coloured map of certain parts of Kochi (the touristy parts) on the one side and lots of little text under the heading ’33 things to do @ Gateway Ernakulam’ on the other (Gateway Ernakulam was the name of the hotel where I was based) I started passively digesting it in my head – reading it and yet not really reading it. I would have continued on, finished reading the document, kept it back on the table, forgotten all about it later and returned. But Fate chose otherwise (I wonder if I will incur the wrath of Fate by dragging it in for such trifling matters but it is too late for the typing fingers type and having typed moves on…great now I’m incurring the wrath of Omar Khayyam as well) and here I am dedicating an entire blog post to something that would have been best ignored (quite like my blog as well I guess)
Anyway getting on with the story- so there I was reading and not reading the document when I suddenly came across this really strange phenomenon (sorry I refuse to call it a typo- it was that weird!)- The Cbinese Fisbing Nets (dare you to say that aloud! and then you’ll know why I’m writing about this). My mind started reeling- Cbinese Fisbing Nets? What on earth were Cbinese Fisbing nets? Do they mean Chinese Fishing Nets? How did they get to a point where they made such a ridiculous (or two ridiculous typos?). I even started conjecturing situations where the computer’s ‘h’ key would only type a ‘b’ but that made no sense as well as there were other ‘h’s floating around the document. So it couldn’t have been a keyboard malfunction (unless someone was typing it with their eyes blindfolded and kept typing ‘b’ instead of ‘h’ but that brought me to the original point about what the proof readers were doing.
My brain was up now and I no longer didn’t read the document but only read the document and soon I was able to spot more than one criminal cousin of the Cbinese Fisbing Nets.
So what were the 33 reasons why this document should have never made it to every room of a luxury hotel?
1. Cbinese Fisbing Nets: Sure! Tourists do a lot of research before travelling to a place but foisting cbinese fisbing nets on them is a crime. Imagine raising all their expectations, making them lose their sleep over wondering what Cbinese Fisbing Nets were until they realised that they were only fishing nets.
2. Relaxing your miJld: yeah! go figure! This actually came under the part titled ‘Learn Yoga’. I wondered if the Ernakulam Yoga (I’ve heard there are many versions of yoga) only relaxed your miJld and not your mind assuming that you figured out what miJld is in the first place.
3. Walk tbe Marine Drive: Sister of the Cbinese Fisbs- need I say more?
4. The Dutch Palar: Remember folks! I take my blog seriously. I actually did a quick research on google to find if Palar was the local word for Palace- only to have an irritated google ask me if I meant the Dutch Palace instead? The Dutch Palar like the Cbinese Fisbing nets was a crime (maybe it was an internationally themed typo mela!)
5. The finest natural harbour of the worl: Yes this is the finest natural harbour of the worl. What is this world you speak of?
6. Kerala Meals/ Triffins: Someone must be a real fan of science fiction. The day of the Triffins anyone? (If you are wondering ‘The day of the Triffids’ is a SF novel. For more info google).
7. Fmding patterns: This came under a heading asking people to buy gold for all occasions. Maybe thats the bling effect that’ll make you fmd patterns.
8. Cruising to th entrances: Simplifying english and removing superfluous alphabets. Say no more!
9. Heralding the Herald’s: Yup! Onam actually Herald’s the harvest. Maybe they meant Herald harvested his crop over onam?
10. GoArty: Did they mean Go Arty? or did they mean a goatee? or Goa rty? Not that I can ever figure our what rty is.
The next section of crimes deal with excessive capitalization: Right, you may ask me- since when did I become the grammar vulture? Me, who makes unsufferably boring long sentences plagued with a thousand brackets. But I’m not commenting on long sentences am I?
11. Herbal Diets that will replenish you, Yoga that will revitalize you and Meditation that will recharge you. Hold on a minute- is it English we’re writing or German? Why in the world are you capitalizing every noun?
12. The 500 Years old synagogue: I give it to you- 500 is a big number especially for years, but capitalising it doesn’t make it any more older or grander.
13. Hebrew inscriptions on Stone slabs: Dude! I get it- the synagogue is ancient and holy- but will you cut out the capitalization already?
14. treat yourself to a scoop of its soft white flesh, Nutrition at its best: Ok they are talking about tender coconuts folks so don’t get any wrong ideas there but once again Nutrition gets prime importance here.
15. spot the Ayurvedic plants- I’m not going to dwell on this one for long.
16. Kerala’s Handicraft Centres- Now I’m getting confused- should we capitalize these?
Framing sentences that make no sense
17. Applaud them as they spring out of the waters, magnificent splash, only to take marvelous dive back into it: Oh dear! (We are talking about dolphins by the way!)
If kitsch could kill then this document would be the ultimate WMD. Point no 11 is case in point. However I guess most tourism is actually sold on kitsch value and it is wrong of me to criticise style so I will strike this out.
If there is something worse than riddling your document with cliched phrases, it is suddenly and abruptly changing tone to make short sentences. Statements 31-33 in orginal document read ‘Children’s recreation in Park is a real enjoyment for kids’, ‘Boating is a real joy at the Children’s Tech Park’. Snappy. Almost as if by the time they got to 30 they had run out of all ideas and had to quickly whip up 3 more suggestions while racing to a deadline. However this is also style based so I am forced to strike this out as well.
20- 32. Other typos, unnecessary plurals and punctuations. I will not be bothered to type them out
33. The ultimate typo: Though you can easily miss it. Right below the headline in italics
“Ernakulam is the Gatewye & Commercial Capital of Kerala!”
I rest my case!
**By the way I did not take notes on the suspect document. I brought it home and analysed it in leisure. Jobless you think?