Small town, big space

Mayors and city councils are in the news.

Here in Bermuda, Graeme Outerbridge lurches from one crisis to another. In Toronto, Rob Ford has brought infamy on that city, previously known for being the nice North American city. And the list goes on.

But the story that went viral was the North Carolina city councillor who submitted his resignation in a letter written in Klingon.

Now it turns out though, that it wasn’t even good Klingon, according to Arika Okrent in The Week:

“Take the first sentence, which he translates as “Teach (the) city (the) constitution.” What it actually says is “city teacher ‘chonshtitution’.” There’s no verb! No attempt to translate “constitution”! It’s as if he translated “Give the doctor the scalpel” into Spanish as “Benefactor doctor scalpelo.” Such is the danger of pure dictionary translation, or in this case, relying solely on the Bing.com automatic Klingon translation tool. You still gotta know what you’re doing. Apparently, Waddell doesn’t. If he wants to ride this stunt into the Senate (his plan is to pursue a write-in bid for Kay Hagan’s seat), he’s going to have to do more to prove himself to his Klingon-speaking constituency. Granted, it’s a small constituency, but they care a lot about honor. And they’re prone to violence.”

She reckons he used the Bing.com Klingon translator. Just another thing to blame on Microsoft! I’m sure Apple’s translator is much better. 

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