For several years now I have been telling people about my dream job. I only dream, knowing that even if I were younger and more ambitious I would not take the steps to explore it's possibility. I think of it today because a I just read a blog showing a roadside sign that totally misuses the Welsh language. All around the world tourists sites have signs in the local language and in English; the English is often misspelled [okay a lot of us make mistakes too] and often says something so awkward it's not clear what it means. The most egregious example I've seen was at the high end of a long escalator at a Chinese nature park where a trail took one to the bottom of a river gorge. To get back up to the top the escalator had been installed for those not walking the hard trail up. A lot of Chinese characters were translated in English simply as "No Having Fun." We English speakers took photos [which was fun] and chuckled at Chinese ineptiness [also fun].
My ideal job would be as a language consultant, hired by various countries' tourist departments. I would be paid to travel [free, course] to tourist sites to correct the English on all local signs [while staying, free of course, in one of the best local hotels which might wish also to retain my editorial services at my standard additional fee]. Thus I could travel to many parts of the world, render a service that is much needed and even get to know some of the local people in the course of my work. So all I need is an ambitious booking agent to make the necessary contacts. Any takers? You'd get standard agenting fees, and perhaps the occasional trip as well.
ELDER MUSIC: The Band, Revisited - This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge an...
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