Day 20 (20 July 2010) – Happy Birthday, Carib!

So last Tuesday it was my dad’s birthday and we celebrated by walking around Nantes looking for the number 76. And today it’s my mom’s birthday and we’re celebrating by looking at signs in France written in English in need of editing. You see, my mom inherited from her mother what I jokingly refer to as “editing disease.” It can be a serious affliction characterized by an uninhibited need to correct poorly worded sentences, punctuation errors, and spelling mistakes. It’s known to run in families. I know it flares up in me now and then.

So as a gift to my mother and out of respect for her inherited affliction I present today’s photo, found right here at the place we are staying in Pornichet (click on the photo to get it to enlarge if you are having trouble reading it). I’ve tried to imagine the situation in which this sign got its English translation. For instance, construction delays were causing the foreman all kinds of headaches and this sign just had to get done. But no English speakers were available. A helpful worker spoke up, “Wait! Isn’t Jean-Pierre’s nephew, the one from England, visiting this month? Let’s give him a call!” Too bad he was failing English itself back home…

Seriously, and by no means do I want to sound disrespectful, I appreciate how hard they’ve worked here to provide English translations. And I certainly know it is difficult to be understood in another language. Frankly, I hope people are getting a good kick out of the crazy things I’m likely saying in French when I’m just doing my best to make sense. I’m just glad we left our personnel documents back at PSCS.

So happy birthday, mom. I expect an edited copy of the sign in my inbox first thing in the morning.