Amazing slop (updated)

By James Fallows

I'm on record as thinking it Colonel Blimpish for native speakers of English to make fun of other people's mistakes in our language -- above all when we're doing it on their soil, and when our command of their language is less than total. Odds are any college-educated Chinese person I meet will be much better in English than I am in Chinese. After all, English was one of their mandatory subjects through school and in their college-entrance exams. Not quite the same for me with Chinese. (But let's try some French! Or Latin! Or Esperanto! Or Japanese!) So not once in talking with such a person have I been other than grateful for such English as they know.

On the other hand, I repeatedly marvel at the blitheness with which Chinese organizations put things in English designed for foreign readers without having even a minimally-literate native speaker give it a quick look. (Background again here and more broadly here.)

Today's case study: promotional map, conveniently in English for foreign investors and tourists, which I just received from a fancy Chinese resort I won't otherwise identify:
 

Sigh. My kingdom for an "e."

Update: George Bradt of Shanghai reports that the city's hockey rink has ramp marked "Sloppy Passage," for the convenience of wheelchair-bound patrons. Update #2: Via Micah Sittig, photo of the ramp, with its full name "Disabled Sloppy Passage," here.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2008/12/amazing-slop-updated/9209/