It’s a gift, really — when you unpack your purchase and reach for the “Instruction” sheet (because I am a girl and that’s what we do) and you suddenly stumble into a United Nations of mis-translations and awkward English and the resulting delightful cacophony of words. This came in the fillable lamp base I picked up at our local Tuesday Morning. I especially love the courtesy of the “please” in Instruction No. 1 and the slightly forceful directive to “enjoy your lamp” in No. 5 — as if maybe if I didn’t, somebody would come over and make sure that I did. Then there’s the “put stuff inside of glass” in No. 3 — I imagine here that the author had spent hours searching for the correct term for “stuff” and then simply gave up in exhaustion and thought “Well, it’s ‘stuff,’ so let’s just say ‘stuff’.” And I only recently learned that “sea star” is another name for starfish and I think it’s a much prettier and more accurate name since they are, in fact, not fish at all. (Also they are endangered — like so many other cool ocean things.) And, of course, there’s the most elegant phrase of all: “Screw tightly the metal cap,” in Instruction No. 4. I’m going to talk like this all day today — “Get quickly out of my way, you idiot driver, you.” — and see if it helps any. Naturally, however, this “instruction” didn’t do me any good because immediately after putting stuff inside the glass and screwing tightly the metal cap and before preparing to enjoy my lamp, I disregarded the vital Instruction No. 1 and proceeded to pick up the lamp by the metal cap. Luckily, I did avoid breakage and quickly regrouped as advised. This guy sure knew what he was talking about.
Published by Coffee with Cathy
I'm a media coordinator, an editor & an adjunct journalism instructor who also writes about style, history, food and the arts in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. My husband is a newspaper sports editor, and he and I are from middle Tennessee. Older Daughter and her husband, an artist and high-school art teacher, live nearby with our three grandsons. Younger Daughter works in grants proposals & also lives nearby. View all posts by Coffee with Cathy