Saturday, September 13, 2008

I have been correcting English in games for money recently, and now I find that I cannot prevent myself from correcting English at all hours of the day and night, quite randomly and obsessively.

In a high-brow restaurant in Damascus I found myself ruthlessly correcting the English printed on one of their napkins and was caught in the act by a waiter, much to my embarrassment.

Today I recommended a hotel to a friend - the one in Istanbul where I stayed last week (with the delightfully irascible dutch woman d'un certain age who has lived there since last December, and the frisky bar manager that ran off with my friend), and I chanced upon its website:

I was struck by the Hotel's slogan: feel yourself at home. It seemed to me that the management were suggesting their guests feel themselves at home, with the implication that they are exhorted not to feel themselves during their stay at the Hotel Agan.
i.e. Feel yourself at home - not in our hotel.

And just to make it clear to people for whom English is not a first language: telling people to "feel themselves at home" is entirely unnecessary. Generally speaking, most people already feel themselves at home. It is only the brave and the psychologically-impaired who choose to masturbate in the street in full public view.


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