Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm On It

Thirty five of 101 two letter words that can be
used in official North American Scrabble tournaments

I spend a lot of my time proofreading and editing documents, etc. that other people have translated from Japanese to English, which I get paid (not too much) for. The work can be challenging at times, depending on the quality of the translation, subject matter and type of job(technical, ad copy, etc.). Recently I faced the biggest challenge of my entire proofreading/editing career. The end client, a car navigation systems maker,  had a question about a particular word I used in a product brochure I worked on. The word in question was "via." It's a great little word, one of my favorites, that can cover a lot of territory. Their question was "what does it mean?" It was an easy enough problem to solve. I just quoted Webster's. "Via, 1: by way of; or through the medium or agency of; also by means of."

"That was easy," I thought, until I heard back from the client. "Please don't use big words like 'via' anymore," they said. Using only words no bigger than two letters would pose quite a challenge. I didn't know what to say, except:
"Uh, ok. I'm on it."

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