Last week the WSJ had a big feature on labor problems at Hon Hai Precision Industries of China. The headline, the photo caption, and all but one references in the story were to Hon Hai. The exception was a by-the-way mention that Hon Hai Precision Industries was also called "Foxconn."
Yesterday the Journal has another good story
, by the same reporter, on the same topic, laid out in more or less the same way in the paper. But this time the headline says Foxconn, and so does the photo caption (beneath a picture of the famed "suicide nets"), and so does an early reference in the story.
My point is simply: Hmmm! Last week, I thought that the Journal was trying to speed-walk its readers into familiarity with what has always been Foxconn's "real" name. Now they're back to using the term that readers outside China would recognize. Just part of the chronicles of life and language in our time. And, again, the story itself is interesting and parallels the trends I was describing here and showing in pictures here.
I have nearly 1,000 "how to deal with guns" responses piled up, which I'll start sampling from soon.
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is a staff writer for The Atlantic
and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the new book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America,
which has been a New York Times
best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.