First off, a couple shout outs:
– Jeff VanderMeer has recently overhauled his website and blog: Ecstatic Days. It’s the place to go for folks interested in Jeff’s work.
– Paul Jessup is working on an online serial novel, Dust, with daily updates at his website. Dust is a “surrealistic, dark fantasy, about a girl searching for freedom in a graveyard town built on the ruins of war.” He’s also penning a writing journal about it. So for readers interested in the novel-writing process, it promises to be interesting.
Next, anyone reading this know Korean? Specifically written Korean?
In a nutshell, I need “Please do not remove any mugs, cups, or glasses from this desk” translated into Korean.
Outside a nutshell: Minor, ongoing saga at work. The cleaning guy who’s been tidying our office retired recently and was subsequently replaced, as retired folks are wont to be. But the cleaning staff usually swings by after quitting time, so I haven’t met him yet. (We tend to see a lot more of the off-hours folks during session when we’re working late).
This new guy, who hasn’t learned how our office likes doing things, has been clearing mugs and glasses off people’s desks to load in the dishwasher and then returns them to the communal mug/cup cabinet in the kitchen. However, many of us have personal drinking receptacles that aren’t meant to be spirited away. We clean them ourselves and leave them on our desks, and the old cleaning staff knew not to take them.
One of these is my “Nothing Like a Hot Cup of Global Domination in the Morning” Apex Digest alien mug:
So the second time I had to rescue my cherished mug from the mug cabinet, I put out a note on my desk before I left for the day: “Please do not remove any mugs, cups, or glasses from this desk.”
Next morning, my mug was gone, as well as my quart-sized water glass (not cherished, just something I don’t want bussed away). After rescuing my drinkware, I figured maybe my intended audience doesn’t read English, so I popped out to Babel Fish and got a Spanish translation to include with my English note.
Next morning: missing drinkware.
Grr! So now I’m wondering, am I being messed with? Has this become some sort of vindictive thing because I dared to obliquely rebuke the cleaning staff? After a moment of contemplating this, I perceive my own paranoia. Enthusiastic cleaning behavior would be a very odd mechanism of retribution. Therefore, I consult Babel Fish and leave a note in English, Spanish, French, and Italian. I also tape a “Do Not Remove” sign in both English and Spanish over the top of my drinkware and make a little tent sign (again in English and Spanish) to put in front of them.
Next morning: drinkware present and undisturbed on desk.
Yay! But as I discover in subsequent days, if I neglect putting out my signage, mug and cup are abducted all over again. It is obvious that what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. And then, the other day, my senior editor mentions that the new cleaning guy is Korean.
Ah, hah! English, Spanish, Italian, and French probably aren’t doing the trick. It’s probably the physical blockage of signage taped on my drinkware which is dissuading the cleaning guy from absconding with them.
Unfortunately, I am verily dubious about Babel Fish’s English to Korean translator. It’s not a language I have even a passing familiarity with, and when I did a backward translation from the Korean it gave me back to English, it came out: “It does not remove the what kind of teacup, the cup or a separation from this desk to dry.”
As I would prefer not to exacerbate our communication breakdown, I’m holding off on putting out a note until I can get some confirmation from a speaker/reader of the language.
Sigh. Yah, it’s the little things . . .
– Payment for “Li T’ien and the Dragon Nian” in Black Dragon, White Dragon. The anthology’s due out in September/October, and editor Rob Santa gave me a shiny ego boo in the included note. My story’s slated to be lead story, and a couple of the other contributors have expressed excitement at sharing a ToC with me–which totally blows me away. I mean, I certainly don’t think of myself as being the sort of big name writer that would elicite squeeing about sharing a ToC with. So yah, much shiny ego boo.
– Contract from oldcharliebrown for “The Tears of My Mother, the Shell of My Father” in Japanese Dreams.
– 159-day YFoP from Shawna at Realms of Fantasy with scribbled note. Snartleblast.
– 41-day form nope from Tin House for their “Fantastic Women” issue. That was something of a long shot, so no surprise there.
– My July Writing for Young Readers column is now up (a couple days early even): “Writing Humor (As Demonstrated by Buffy the Vampire Slayer)”.
– 200 words on a new short story for the Datlow/Windling anthology, tentatively titled, “They That Sow the Wind Shall Reap the Whirlwind.”
Do you have a drawer or somewhere you can stash your mug when you leave?
I would hate having mine go missing.
Fortunately, I drink my coffee here, where we have the opposite situation: Once the drinking glass load reaches 3 on my desk, I have to put something in the dishwasher.
Yah, I’ve got places I can hide my mug away in my desk, and that was Plan B if my excessive signage attempt hadn’t been successful. But it’s a bit of a pain on the water glass front since I routinely leave water in it overnight (in addition to holding a quart of water, it also has a lid and a straw, which is why I brought it from home). But I think my drinkware is safe as long as I remember to put up my signs before I head home. Plus, I’m still hoping to get a Korean translation . . .
I am ashamed to say that despite a few years of studying Korean at college, I have forgotten nearly everything but how to read the language. I can ask my mom for a translation, though.
The cleaning guy at my office keeps unplugging things under my desk so he can plug in his vacuum cleaner, then leaves them unplugged. I’ve been thinking of leaving a note for him too, or putting up some barbed wire around the outlet.
Very nice article on humor, by the way! I’ve become more conscious of humorous dialogue in YA fiction–M.T. Anderson is excellent at it, as is Maureen Johnson. This will definitely be helpful as I revise my novel, since there is not as much funny in it as I would like.
“I can ask my mom for a translation, though.“
That would muchly rawketh. Thank you!!
“I’ve been thinking of leaving a note for him too, or putting up some barbed wire around the outlet.“
Hee! There’s a couple of us editors in my office who have do-not-remove mugs, and we were speculating on ways to chain down our drinkware. Barbed wire hadn’t occurred to us . . .
“Very nice article on humor, by the way!“
Thanks! I’m glad you liked it and found it helpful.
Hee! I would totally be squeeing if I got to share a ToC with you. :nods:
I wish I knew Korean, but, alas, I do not. If only your Korean coffee cup nemesis spoke French! But surely someone out there in the blogosphere can translate for you.
ooh, ooh, ooh!! I do have some spare barbed wire, though, if you want it! It’s a bit on the rusty side, though.
And the blogosphere did indeed come through for me. Yay! Only, I was wondering, how come you’ve got spare, rusty barbed wire lying around . . . on second thought, perhaps it’s best that I don’t know .
Hee!! Well, see, years and years ago, there was this troll, and he–erm–never mind. 😛
Yay for the blogosphere!! So…out of curiosity…how DO you say that in Korean?!
“So…out of curiosity…how DO you say that in Korean?!“
No clue how it’s pronounced, but it’s printed:
이 책상에서 컵, 머그, 유리컵 좀 옮기지 마십시요.
이 책상에서 컵, 머그, 유리컵 좀 옮기지 마십시요.
It says “Please do not move the cups, mugs, or glass cups from this desk.”
If you don’t have Korean fonts on your computer, here’s a jpeg.
Thank you! I’m making up new signs right now with your translation!
I don’t speak Korean, but the Medical Center I work for does have a site dedicated to serving the various Asian populations in Philadelphia which does include Korean speakers.
Someone else has already beaten me to the punch this time, but if you find you have other signage needs, I’ll happily pass them along to a member of the staff.
Thanks! I’ll definitely keep you in mind if I need anything else translated. Coolness. I already had you bookmarked as the guy to go to if I needed someting in Klingon .
Good to see that you’ve received what you needed. I was going to suggest a pictogram with a hand in the banned symbol.Very large, very red.
I was thinking about going the picture route if I couldn’t get a translation, but I wasn’t sure how to depict “don’t take my mug!” in universal pictograph. Red hand with a slash through it might’ve worked, though . . .
Oh, sure, Paul Jessup’s free on-line serialized fiction you pimp out. I see how it is.
Nah, I’m just fuckin’ around. Mostly. Not really. But anyway, that’s hardcore of Mr. Jessup, man. Laying bare his entire process like that. I guard my works-in-progress with flame-wielding dwarves in armor. I may just have to check this out.
All you gotta do is ask, sweetie . I’m all about pimping other folks’ stuff, but they gotta drop me a line, personal-like.
fantastic thing you are doing
Great book. I just want to say what a fantastic thing you are doing! Good luck!