About my Blog

Stories of a thirty something girl. She travels.She reads.She writes.She dreams.She prays.She lives.

Oct 18, 2007

English Experts

i used to work in an american-franchised bakery during my early corporate years. being part of the marketing team, i used to ask our american parent company to ship some of their extra marketing collaterals to help us save printing cost. having just very few outlets then, a lot will just be put into waste if we print locally.one time they sent us to display a sticker to be placed on our hotplate...i couldn't perfectly remember the exact message but i think the message goes like"30 MINUTES FRESH OF THE OVEN GOODNESS". hey, i wasn't the marketing officer then so when my boss said it's okay (although i didn't strongly believed so), i asked all bakery managers to display the sticker anyway...so there, we were flooded by English-expert Filipinos with "Shouldn't it be 30 MINUTES FRESH OFF-THE OVEN GOODNESS" corrections. i knew it. okay, so sometimes American English sucks.

now i am working in a multinational company whose parent company is based in UK. it's one of my duties to review soft copy of magazines for regional publication but for local printing. normally, i just correct some errors in pricing, catalogue page numbers, company's contact details etc...but just this afternoon while i was going through my usual review...printed in bold as an article introduction.... a very grammatically incorrect statement... " Company ARE one of the principle channel partners for the most respected names in Test & Measurement. Company HAVE trained sales engineers and a technical helpline to......." so there, when i replied to our South Asia Marketing Executive in Singapore, i said it should be IS instead of ARE and HAS instead of HAVE. i mean, it's quite a simple subject-verb agreement. to my surprise, we even needed to have an exchange of e-mail:

HER:"Hi Jeng, for Page 10, I have pointed out to UK before but they claim the English is correct. So I shall stay put as it is."
ME:yeah, if it they say it's correct English, who are we to argue...they're English...hehehe but see, Asian market just doesn't accept that.personally, i don't wanna print, distribute and explain to everyone that it's correct English in UK.so, no way we can change? it's a simple subject-verb agreement.
HER:Haha… I agree with what you say. Let me check with a few more people. In case we are the one wrong and arguing will make it very ugly.Will let u know. ^,^

i thought it's going to be okay already but then again, we even had an exchange of messages in our office communicator...the communication went like this:

her: gosh... i got different feedback from different people
her:Is there any english expert in PH tat we can consult?
me: hey, don't we just use "have" for singular pronoun "I", other than that we use it for plural.If it is just one company then we use "has"
her:hee, i manage to get someone to give opinion.she is the asia marketing mgr.her english powerful... haha
me:hopefully she sides with us i did ask around. ..hmmm, we all think it's really not correct
her:ya same i am talking to her now.yeah, she said "is" hehehe, we won!
me:three stars!

obviously, i was just being polite. i know for a fact that it's very elementary really :) i didn't expect that it'll be a big deal.

in conclusion, sometimes American English sucks & sometimes British English also sucks...and the world needs ENGLISH-EXPERT FILIPINOS ?!3@*($^! hehehe....