Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World


Clidgening some new words together just for you…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:20 pm

As if generating random sentences via Markov chains wasn’t entertaining enough, you can also generate some neologisms through the same process. It’s absolutely attifurteriteric!

More Chinglish

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:06 pm

And more Chinglish, also turned up through a very fruitful Google search: A Sign of the Times.

Engrish and Chinglish

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 12:57 pm

Badly-translated Engrish, as surprising as it may seem at first, isn’t unique to Japan. Admittedly, with its huge electronic industry and the sheer number of products it exports, Japan is probably the most well-known and most consistent source of bad translations– but by no means is it alone. Take, for instance, the sometimes absurd variety of Engrish known as Chinglish, so named because it originates in Chinese-speaking countries…


NY Times vs. LA Times

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:43 pm

Why do so many people seem to dislike the registration required to browse articles on the New York Times’ web site? It’s true that you have to provide some minor demographic information about yourself to register, and you might end up with a bit of spam here and there (though I don’t recall having gotten any because of it). Nonetheless, you don’t have to provide your street address or even your real name to register. It’s a slight hassle, to be sure, but it’s well worth the few seconds it takes to fill out the form, and from what I can see, it’s hardly an invasion of privacy.

No, the New York Times’ registration is hardly evil. What’s evil is the mandatory registration form for that west-coast monolith, the Los Angeles Times— a “feature” which, in fact, was only implemented recently. As I said, I can easily handle giving away a few bits of basic, anonymous demographic information– but being forced to provide my name, address and phone number just so I can browse the day’s news from a paper all the way across the country from me is, in my opinion, more than a bit excessive…


Universal translator? Hardly…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 9:23 pm explains why, at the rate linguistic technology is developing, a Star-Trek-esque universal translator is still quite far away.


Behind the Typeface

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:37 pm

Font geek humor at its finest: Behind The Typeface. This may be one of the most amusing and well-executed Flash parodies I’ve seen in a good while… but then again, it doesn’t help that, as I’ve mentioned before, I myself am a fontaholic…


Heg! Rho sritched mg kegcaps awound?

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 8:58 pm

OK, I just stumbled across this page, and what it showcases may be one of the most hilarious bits of Engrish I’ve seen in a good while: Intertllr Terininatdr. [Link updated 2004-11-23 now that AnimeJump has restored the bootleg toys to their site…]

And while we’re on the subject of bad translations, here are a few more I stumbled across through Google:

And if this site weren’t enough proof that I’m a geek…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:30 pm

Y’know, someone should create a new Unix compression utility named feather, so named because it would make bulky files as light as a feather. That way, you could compress a collection of files by tarring and feathering them…

Will the dowloads ever end?

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:16 am

Here’s why it helps to know a second language, as witnessed by the Zone38 server logs (hey, they never lie!):

A user of Google’s Brazilian site performed a search for Dowload of the game Super Mario. One of the links on the resulting page was to a blog entry on Zone38 which mentioned various “dowload” searches and linked to the Proofreader’s Hall of Shame, the site to which all those searches had led.

Apparently thinking that site was some sort of page on video game emulation, this unlucky Brazilian subsequently followed the link and typed “super mario” into the PHS’ internal search.

Needless to say, he gave up after a short while…



Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 7:03 pm

The Chronicles of George, for those who’ve never heard of the site, are a collection of actual tech support tickets recorded by one incredibly inept employee over a span of several months. How inept, you ask? Well…for one thing, despite the fact that he’s a native English speaker, he is often “havening” problems writing intelligibly…

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