• My Name? (unregistered) in reply to J
    J:
    Finn:
    frits:
    That second one reminds me of when people talk louder to someone with a foreign accent. It's as if speaking a different language is the same as having a hearing impairment.

    Living in America, but being from a foreign country, I see this all the time. What is it with Americans' inability to deal with people on an international level? There's a lot of potential for misscommunication when dealing between countries. So you have to be aware of certain protocols and such. Here is where I see people the most oblivious.

    But then, how much can you blame Americans? It's not like Europe here where you have so many different countries, cultures, and languages so close together. Most Americans don't have a passport and are born and die before ever leaving the States.

    Wait, we leave the States when we die? Are you speaking physically or metaphysically?

    Hell and heaven are not part of the US. Didn't you know that?

    -- dolor -- the next generation color

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    The WTFs have been of a consistently poor quality of late. The typos and poor grammar are still the biggest WTF on display at any one time.

  • WonkoTheSane (unregistered) in reply to Jeff
    Jeff:
    I made too many letters on my duck.

    Thats effing brilliant!

  • DaveK (cs) in reply to Mason Wheeler
    Mason Wheeler:
    I once heard a great joke about a Spanish guy visiting the US and trying to communicate this way, but unfortunately it wouldn't make sense in English.
    So ok, let's have it in the original Spanish then.
  • DaveK (cs) in reply to My Name?
    My Name?:
    J:
    Finn:
    frits:
    That second one reminds me of when people talk louder to someone with a foreign accent. It's as if speaking a different language is the same as having a hearing impairment.

    Living in America, but being from a foreign country, I see this all the time. What is it with Americans' inability to deal with people on an international level? There's a lot of potential for misscommunication when dealing between countries. So you have to be aware of certain protocols and such. Here is where I see people the most oblivious.

    But then, how much can you blame Americans? It's not like Europe here where you have so many different countries, cultures, and languages so close together. Most Americans don't have a passport and are born and die before ever leaving the States.

    Wait, we leave the States when we die? Are you speaking physically or metaphysically?

    Hell and heaven are not part of the US. Didn't you know that?

    Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris.

    And the bad ones come here.

  • SenTree (cs) in reply to Nick
    Nick:
    frits:
    That second one reminds me of when people talk louder to someone with a foreign accent. It's as if speaking a different language is the same as having a hearing impairment.
    The only people I've seen do this are Americans.
    It used to be a standing joke about Brits abroad as well, all the way back to the days of the Empire - maybe it's speaking English that causes it ? (I think we've improved recently, but I can't speak for all of us).
  • Man (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    Finn:
    What is it with Americans' inability to deal with people on an international level?

    What is it with foreigners inability to speak English? Lazy bastards.

    to be sincere.... never seen an American speaking a foreign language...get to study Chinese lazy bastards!

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    What is it with foreigners inability to speak English? Lazy bastards.

    I think you mean 'What is it with foreigners inability to speak American?'

    American is a poor bastardisation of the English language, and you sure as hell shouldn't call them the same thing.

  • method1 (cs)
    I can imagine that you'd have the faintest idea what he was talking about

    Surely this should be "I can imagine that you wouldn't have the faintest idea what he was talking about

  • GalacticCowboy (cs) in reply to Man
    Man:
    Anon:
    Finn:
    What is it with Americans' inability to deal with people on an international level?

    What is it with foreigners inability to speak English? Lazy bastards.

    to be sincere.... never seen an American speaking a foreign language...get to study Chinese lazy bastards!

    Actually, a large number of Americans do have at least some knowledge of a foreign language. However, the problem is at least fourfold:

    1. They probably learned it in high school or university, which for many of us was half a lifetime ago, or more.
    2. They probably learned (primarily) from a non-native speaker.
    3. Unless they work in one of the precious few jobs that actually requires it, they might actually get to use their alternate language skills once or twice a year, if that.
    4. The number of choices are, frankly, mind-boggling. Yes, you can learn Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Russian, Chinese, or any of several others. However, the likelihood of learning more than one of these is remote due to the time commitment involved. Furthermore, once you have chosen one of these you're kind of stuck with it.

    French and Spanish would probably make the most sense, since we have a nation on each border that uses one of these. For the rest, it is certainly possible to go an entire lifetime without ever meeting a native speaker.

  • Will (unregistered) in reply to SenTree

    For the opposite view as a british drink mate said IIRC "What is the use of learning another language. Everyone else knows English already."

  • The Unattractive Amurcan (unregistered) in reply to BillT

    WHAT THE HAIL YOU MEAN, BWAH?!? WE DUN INVENTED SHOUTIN'! HAIL, WE EVEN INVENTED SHOOTIN', JES' SO'S WE'D HAVE US A WAY TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO'S DUN GONE AND STOLE OUR SHOUTIN' AND IS A-TRYIN' TO USE IT ON US'N!!! (WE ALSO DUN INVENTED THE APOSTROPHE, WHICH IS A HOT-DANG GOOD OL' THANG, H'AIN'T IT?!?!?)

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    Anon:
    What is it with foreigners inability to speak English? Lazy bastards.

    I think you mean 'What is it with foreigners inability to speak American?'

    American is a poor bastardisation of the English language, and you sure as hell shouldn't call them the same thing.

    Rubbish, it's called English because it was invented in New England. Obviously!

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to My Name?
    My Name?:

    Hell and heaven are not part of the US. Didn't you know that?

    Clearly you've never visited Cleveland.

  • SenTree (cs) in reply to Will
    Will:
    For the opposite view as a british drink mate said IIRC "What is the use of learning another language. Everyone else knows English already."
    Only because the Victorians kept shooting them until they learned it properly ;)
  • Tom Servo (unregistered) in reply to rast
    rast:
    4merK0d34:
    很抱歉打扰您了。有一个与供应问题的方案 按钮。请咨询?

    COULD YOU PLEASE STATE YOUR PROBLEM MORE CLEARLY?

    Oh for crying- Each! Of! You! Will Enter! A! Space! Capsule!

  • IT Girl (unregistered) in reply to frits
    frits:
    Finn:

    But then, how much can you blame Americans? It's not like Europe here where you have so many different countries, cultures, and languages so close together. Most Americans don't have a passport and are born and die before ever leaving the States.

    It's called America, dude. Learn the rules.

    Whoa whoa whoa dude. America is a continent of which the United States thereof is only one country. Big ass and "loud" or not.

  • IT Girl (unregistered) in reply to OldNews
    OldNews:
    "A Text-Destroying Problem"

    Isn't this a old tech story that has gone around for years, real or not. I can't count the number of times I've heard this one now. Must be a frequent problem with stupid people.

    It is real (voice of experience), has been happening for many years and still happens. So yeah, your last statement: absolutely correct!

  • uxor (unregistered) in reply to DaveK
    DaveK:
    What, it's actually a rule that you're not allowed to leave your own country or know anything about anywhere else in the world? That sounds an awful lot like communism to me! Let's just hope that Obama can restore capitalism after the years of damage caused by the previous communitarian administration.
    WTF???

    How can a complete communist like Obama restore capitalism?

  • IT Girl (unregistered) in reply to Mason Wheeler
    Mason Wheeler:
    StychoKiller:
    OldNews:
    "A Text-Destroying Problem"

    Isn't this a old tech story that has gone around for years, real or not. I can't count the number of times I've heard this one now. Must be a frequent problem with stupid people.

    The real WTF here is why do text editors change their behavior with the insert/delete keys? Who thought this was a "Pretty Neat Idea (TM)??"

    Before the input device of choice was a mouse, it actually was a "Pretty Neat Idea"

    Because overwrite is occasionally useful. Not all that often, infrequently enough that it really ought to be some other command that's not so easy to hit by accident, but it's nice to have when you want it.

  • RandomUser423664 (unregistered) in reply to Mason Wheeler
    Mason Wheeler:
    StychoKiller:
    OldNews:
    "A Text-Destroying Problem"

    Isn't this a old tech story that has gone around for years, real or not. I can't count the number of times I've heard this one now. Must be a frequent problem with stupid people.

    The real WTF here is why do text editors change their behavior with the insert/delete keys? Who thought this was a "Pretty Neat Idea (TM)??"

    Because overwrite is occasionally useful. Not all that often, infrequently enough that it really ought to be some other command that's not so easy to hit by accident, but it's nice to have when you want it.
    It seems the actual issues you are raising are the position and labeling of that function. My educated guess (I'm not taking the time to look this up) is that it stems from original typewriters, where obviously the default and perhaps only behavior was over-type.

    When these fancy new computer things made it possible to move text around with minimal effort, they wanted some way to be able to use the normal over-type mode, or the new "insert" mode.

    At some point, insert became the default. The button had become more of an "over-type" button than an "insert" button, but the button label was socially set-in-stone.

    As for the position, you may notice some newer keyboard layouts have actually rearranged that button group to make Delete bigger and move Insert elsewhere.

  • IT Girl (unregistered) in reply to RandomUser423664
    RandomUser423664:
    Mason Wheeler:
    StychoKiller:
    OldNews:
    "A Text-Destroying Problem"

    Isn't this a old tech story that has gone around for years, real or not. I can't count the number of times I've heard this one now. Must be a frequent problem with stupid people.

    The real WTF here is why do text editors change their behavior with the insert/delete keys? Who thought this was a "Pretty Neat Idea (TM)??"

    Because overwrite is occasionally useful. Not all that often, infrequently enough that it really ought to be some other command that's not so easy to hit by accident, but it's nice to have when you want it.
    It seems the actual issues you are raising are the position and labeling of that function. My educated guess (I'm not taking the time to look this up) is that it stems from original typewriters, where obviously the default and perhaps only behavior was over-type.

    When these fancy new computer things made it possible to move text around with minimal effort, they wanted some way to be able to use the normal over-type mode, or the new "insert" mode.

    At some point, insert became the default. The button had become more of an "over-type" button than an "insert" button, but the button label was socially set-in-stone.

    As for the position, you may notice some newer keyboard layouts have actually rearranged that button group to make Delete bigger and move Insert elsewhere.

    Not to burst you bubble, but without looking it up, I can tell you that typewriters have never had an insert key (or any other key that acts in that manner). Being old enough to have learned to type on a typewriter, the closest thing to an "over-type" button, is the backspace key. My typing teacher would rap my knuckles for using it to "over-type" Insert keys are unique to computer keyboards and were desiged to lessen the need for backspacing over type that could simply be replaced by "over-typing". "Back in the day" as we old-timers like to say, it was a very, very useful key to have. But, as I mentioned above, this is before the invention of the mouse.

  • Pierre (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    Yes, English is definitely the lingua franca, the Latin of the Twentieth/Twenty-first Century. Naturally it will be used forever, as well.

    Comme le latin, l'anglais sera utilisé pour l'éternité.

    Como el latin, el inglés sera utilisado hasta el fin del tiempo.

  • Someone like Kevin (unregistered) in reply to Nick
    Nick:
    frits:
    That second one reminds me of when people talk louder to someone with a foreign accent. It's as if speaking a different language is the same as having a hearing impairment.
    The only people I've seen do this are Americans.
    Thanks for half of a syllogism. The only people I've seen wiping their own ass is, well, myself. I guess nobody else does that.
  • sino (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    Anon:
    What is it with foreigners inability to speak English? Lazy bastards.

    I think you mean 'What is it with foreigners inability to speak American?'

    American is a poor bastardisation of the English language, and you sure as hell shouldn't call them the same thing.

    Douche.

    American is absolutely different than English; but not all of that difference is attributable to the dialects of rednecks, valleyspeek, lolcats, simpsons quotes, l337 or other culturally contained vernacular.

    American is eclipsing English worldwide because it is more flexible as a communication medium in the world today. It is the only language mutating fast enough to keep pace with technology. Granted, after centuries of Colonial Oppression, we still have a ways to go, but don't fret your crooked little teeth about it.

    tl;dr: Stuff your douchey unwarranted superiority complex back down in your blighty hole, you freaking nozzle. Have a beautiful day. :D

  • gistation (unregistered) in reply to Nick
    Nick:
    frits:
    That second one reminds me of when people talk louder to someone with a foreign accent. It's as if speaking a different language is the same as having a hearing impairment.
    The only people I've seen do this are Americans.
    You should get out more often, then.
  • enim (unregistered) in reply to Mason Wheeler
    Mason Wheeler:
    StychoKiller:
    OldNews:
    "A Text-Destroying Problem"

    Isn't this a old tech story that has gone around for years, real or not. I can't count the number of times I've heard this one now. Must be a frequent problem with stupid people.

    The real WTF here is why do text editors change their behavior with the insert/delete keys? Who thought this was a "Pretty Neat Idea (TM)??"

    Because overwrite is occasionally useful. Not all that often, infrequently enough that it really ought to be some other command that's not so easy to hit by accident, but it's nice to have when you want it.

    Meant more back in the days of fixed-width console lengths and manual hex-ing...

  • MG (unregistered) in reply to Forumtroll
    Forumtroll:
    that angry yelling man had windows 95 installed 7 years ago back in 1999?

    I smell fish here!

    Then you should probably wash up "down there"...

  • A.J. (unregistered) in reply to Finn
    Finn:
    Living in America, but being from a foreign country, I see this all the time. What is it with Americans' inability to deal with people on an international level? There's a lot of potential for misscommunication when dealing between countries. So you have to be aware of certain protocols and such. Here is where I see people the most oblivious.

    But then, how much can you blame Americans? It's not like Europe here where you have so many different countries, cultures, and languages so close together. Most Americans don't have a passport and are born and die before ever leaving the States.

    Who wants to fly for 12 hours or more to visit a foreign country where you are likely to encounter this kind of prejudice?

    There's plenty to see in the U.S. itself and I imagine that most people in the U.S. are born and die before ever seeing most of the individual states, let alone visiting your obviously superior country.

    Captcha: eurego - the institutional European belief that they are better than everyone else.

  • DaveK (cs) in reply to uxor
    uxor:
    DaveK:
    What, it's actually a rule that you're not allowed to leave your own country or know anything about anywhere else in the world? That sounds an awful lot like communism to me! Let's just hope that Obama can restore capitalism after the years of damage caused by the previous communitarian administration.
    WTF???

    How can a complete communist like Obama restore capitalism?

    Oh, how quaint! Old-fashioned commie baiting just like they used to do back in the '50s! You must be from one of those historical re-enactment societies that does old battles, and now you guys are doing the Cold War, right?
  • DaveK (cs) in reply to The Unattractive Amurcan
    The Unattractive Amurcan:
    WHAT THE HAIL YOU MEAN, BWAH?!?
    Air-kisses are spelt "MWAH", dearie, not with a "B"!
  • UriGagarin (cs) in reply to sino

    Well that's twaddle . American English is no more flexible than British English. American English does have the tendency to reinvent words (Burglarzse, vs Burgle) but beyond that its not much different.

    Current studies suggest the predominant variation of English in the next 100 years will be Singlish, a Chinese Engish mix.

  • UriGagarin (cs) in reply to anon.

    it has the added advantage that the user is forced to think what they actually did, often when they go back and try to recreate the problem, it mysteriously disappears.

  • frits (cs) in reply to IT Girl

    It's a movie reference. "Ghost World".

  • frits (cs) in reply to IT Girl
    IT Girl:
    frits:
    Finn:

    But then, how much can you blame Americans? It's not like Europe here where you have so many different countries, cultures, and languages so close together. Most Americans don't have a passport and are born and die before ever leaving the States.

    It's called America, dude. Learn the rules.

    Whoa whoa whoa dude. America is a continent of which the United States thereof is only one country. Big ass and "loud" or not.

    It's a movie reference. "Ghost World".

  • Prosfilaes (unregistered) in reply to IT Girl
    IT Girl:
    Whoa whoa whoa dude. America is a continent of which the United States thereof is only one country. Big ass and "loud" or not.

    Which United States, the Mexican United States? So, no, there are at least two North American countries with United States in the name. If your goal is to communicate instead of being pedantic, you'd know that in English America usually refers to the country the United States of America, as does United States. (And Mexico usually refers to the Mexican United States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos), despite the fact that Mexico is also a state in Mexico.)

    And pedantic or not, America sure as hell isn't a continent. Tectonically and historically, they're two completely separate landmasses connected by a tiny isthmus; if Asia, Europe and Africa are separate continents, then so are North and South America.

  • oheso (unregistered) in reply to anon.
    anon.:
    there are plenty of people out there who just say 'broke, fix it' in varying degrees of politeness, no matter what you do or how you say it.

    QFT. And at some point we just say, "Finagle it! It's quicker for me to just get up from my desk, go there and see what the franophone they're talking about!"

  • oheso (unregistered) in reply to Man
    Man:
    never seen an American speaking a foreign language...get to study Chinese lazy bastards!

    anata ga watashi wo mienai te wakaru kedo, nihongo wo shaberu yo! (chotto hen da kedo ... )

  • Chelloveck (unregistered) in reply to DaveK
    DaveK:
    Woosh. Did you read the article we're discussing here, or was that comment written by guesswork? Because it's pretty clear that the OP did indeed reply politely, and it's also pretty clear that the guy he said that to was a self-righteous prick exactly like you are. Come on, what the hell was he supposed to do? He said "Could you please state your problem more clearly?"; that's straightforward, polite, non-accusatory and uncritical. If anyone has a problem with that, it's their problem, not the fault of whoever said it to them.

    I hope you don't work in customer support. "Please state your problem more clearly" is not very polite, despite the use of the word "please". It's not non-accusatory and uncritical; implicit in that response is the accusation that the customer's first request was not clear. The customer probably thought he was being clear the first time (hey, it's perfectly clear to him what the problem is!) and the support person is giving no clues as to what needs clarification.

    Hatterson's version is much better. "I'm sorry but I don't quite understand the issue. Can you be more specific as to what button you are pressing and what error message is coming up?" First, it puts the blame for not understanding on the support guy, not the customer. "I don't understand", as opposed to "You are being unclear". Second, it asks to clarify specific points, giving the customer an idea of what additional information is needed by the support guy. At the very least it indicates that the support guy actually read the original email and didn't just hit the "piss off, I'm busy" auto-response key.

  • legal weasel (unregistered) in reply to DaveK
    DaveK:
    Hatterson:
    I'm pretty sure that if I was in the same situation as the Chinese user and had got an email back like Brendan's I would have responded the same way.

    Its one thing to be curt to a coworker who asks a question like that but unless there's a past of the customer doing things like this on a regular basis the proper response would have been to employ some tact.

    It isn't hard to type out "I'm sorry but I don't quite understand the issue. Can you be more specific as to what button you are pressing and what error message is coming up?"

    Woosh. Did you read the article we're discussing here, or was that comment written by guesswork? Because it's pretty clear that the OP did indeed reply politely, and it's also pretty clear that the guy he said that to was a self-righteous prick exactly like you are. Come on, what the hell was he supposed to do? He said "Could you please state your problem more clearly?"; that's straightforward, polite, non-accusatory and uncritical. If anyone has a problem with that, it's their problem, not the fault of whoever said it to them.

    Y'all are missing that it's a translation issue (and still a fun WTF). If you've looked into what's involved in reading Chinese, it's not hard to imagine that "state ____ more clearly" could come across as "more legible." And thus the first part of the WTF - to someone who never touched a computer prior to GUIs and HTML mail, upping the font size outgoing seems like a legitimate response, particularly if it happens all the time in the native language [ideographs legible on a 24" 100+ DPI display probably get destroyed on a 640x480 netbook].

    The second half of the WTF is not realizing this and giving the author some hints as to which phrases made no sense. ("Can you please state the problem more clearly? I do not understand what you mean by "the button supplies."" or whatever.)

  • legal weasel (unregistered) in reply to Brent Seidel
    Brent Seidel:
    At last some recognition for Canada. Usually when Americans thing of someplace international and nearby, they thing of Mexico.
    Canada is not foreign. It's just confused.
  • nimis (unregistered) in reply to Franz Kafka
    Franz Kafka:
    Sorry we don't get over there that much, but it's not like we're mobbed with euro tourists over here.
    Blame all the post-9/11 quasi-security bullshit and over-zealous security personnel who think harrassment and stomping on other peoples' rights = security.
  • ahmet (unregistered) in reply to Prosfilaes
    Prosfilaes:
    If your goal is to communicate instead of being pedantic, you'd know that in English America usually refers to the country the United States of America, as does United States.
    That's only because the country has such a stupid name that for anything resembling a fluent communication you have to highjack a geographic label describing two continents.
  • omous (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    You do realize english is their second or perhaps third language they bothered to learn? How many languages do You speak, who is the lazy bastard?

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    Working as an engineer in Australia, you are guaranteed to have many Asian coworkers. Currently the team I work with contains a Chinese DBA, a Chinese programmer, a Korean IT guy, and two Indians. They are all very good at what they do, but its hard to communicate with them.

    The two Indians are the better communicators, but even so they both seem incapable of writing an acceptable technical document. Everyone else is much worse. At the end of the end of the day we manage, and quite often we have a good laugh.

    I find that it helps to send back an email showing the exact part you don't understand. Afterwards I show them a better way they could have written the email. No one has ever been offended by it.

  • Rhialto (unregistered) in reply to North Bus
    Comment held for moderation.
  • frits (cs) in reply to DaveK
    DaveK:
    frits:
    Finn:
    frits:
    That second one reminds me of when people talk louder to someone with a foreign accent. It's as if speaking a different language is the same as having a hearing impairment.

    Living in America, but being from a foreign country, I see this all the time. What is it with Americans' inability to deal with people on an international level? There's a lot of potential for misscommunication when dealing between countries. So you have to be aware of certain protocols and such. Here is where I see people the most oblivious.

    But then, how much can you blame Americans? It's not like Europe here where you have so many different countries, cultures, and languages so close together. Most Americans don't have a passport and are born and die before ever leaving the States.

    It's called America, dude. Learn the rules.

    What, it's actually a rule that you're not allowed to leave your own country or know anything about anywhere else in the world? That sounds an awful lot like communism to me! Let's just hope that Obama can restore capitalism after the years of damage caused by the previous communitarian administration.

    Rock n' roll, baby: Freedom of speech.

  • Prosfilaes (unregistered) in reply to ahmet
    ahmet:
    That's only because the country has such a stupid name that for anything resembling a fluent communication you have to highjack a geographic label describing two continents.

    Yeah, because it's so useful to have a geographic label describing two continents. Of course, we could talk about Ireland, a country that hijacks the name of the island it shares with its historical enemy, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, whose only sane short form is the non-descript United Kingdom (analogous to United States), or we could talk about South Africa, which hijacks the name of a continent. But hey, much more fun to bag on Americans, huh?

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    Why don't you learn their languages ? By that logic doesn't that also make you a lazy bastard?

  • Steve H (unregistered) in reply to Roberto Delaterra
    Roberto Delaterra:
    I suspect Mr Chang used computer-translation... the chinese result of which might have been something like 'make sentence more readable'

    Why do people always feel the need to try to explain or justify these things? We can all read.

    I bet you're a smash at parties.

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