Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Brand Names: 50% More Amusing!

I'm going through the US copyedit of serafina67 (as she'll be known over there), and giggling. Spending one's day AmericaniZing Noel Edmonds is a corking way to earn a living. (Still stumped on that one. The kicker is finding a US-translatable personality that a UK-based person might feasibly reference - which is the problem throughout: yeah, I know what a parking lot is, but that doesn't mean I'm ever going to use the phrase. See also: ass, fries, butt. I'm so highbrow.)

In the process I have discovered a universal comic truth: specific is funny. Tesco > Supermarket. Lemsip > Decongestant. Vicars > Priests. (Priests doesn't rhyme with Knickers, for one thing. Fortunately we have Nuns as a stand-in. Not much is funnier than Nuns.) Sadly, incomprehensible references aren't funny at all, which is why Mr Tesco has to take a hike. Though god bless my poor dear copy-editor for translating 'I have icing on my top' as 'dandruff'.

My American cousins, some assistance please? What are the inevitable set texts you have to study during your teens? I'm trying to translate Siegfried Sassoon (WW1 poet, force-fed to all): are Salinger and Steinbeck a bit old hat these days?

This genius example of how endlessly scary Internetland is. Every time I find one of these, it is odder than the last. *takes notes*

Get your butt under that comforter, smartass!

Fangirling vampires and teaboys, making spicy parsnip soup (twice because it was REALLY nice), plotting going to Canada and pretending that the words 'Benton' and 'Fraser' have nothing to do with the appeal of this concept.

6 comments:

Jess said...

I'm sure when I read Judy Bloom half the appeal was that people didn't use the same words as I did. Can they not just work out what an arse is, and enjoy the rich pageant of the English language as global tongue? *feels sad* Don't they have icing in America?

I know what you mean about specific is funny - it's a bit weird when you start thinking about it. I think it's something about recognition and shared reference points, which I suppose is where quaintness of the reference points being different would rather interfere with the funny...

Go to Canada. It sounds lovely.

MG said...

Good that you're at getting your American copy edit! When I ask questions about when the American version of my book is coming out - or indeed any question about the US version, people start staring into the middle distance and mumbling vague things like 'Well we don't really know about that...'

MG said...

PS Just read the story about the net lurve saga. I used to frequent 'talkers' early on the the days of the Interweb and came across all sortsa weird stuff (e.g. an online memorial for a girl who committed suicide after bending a bunch of people's ears...), but never anything this twisted.

Rocrastinator Extraordinaire said...

J: they do have icing, but they call it frosting, and it is made from powdered sugar. Presumably stuff I picked up from exactly that kind of cultural osmosis. *nods* It's very distracting when you're sitting there with your green pencil, thinking about cultural imperialism, when you're supposed to be finding a US equivalent for Noel Edmonds...

MG: Clearly they are so excited about the impending UK one (isn't it Jan? bloody hell that's quite soon) they can't be bothered. This means by the time the US edition gets into gear, you will already be festooned with 'the new Alex Rider/Young Bond' rosettes and you'll be able to be all demanding and Garboish.

Increased internet usage = increased crazy. There are just so many new ways to be a psycho these days. It's inspiring, in a completely terrifying sort of way...

MG said...

Susie luv, sounds like you could cheer me up no end. Not that I'm selfish or anything... Let's do lunch/smoothies/juice bar, whatever you like in town this week. Not milkshakes though...I'm lactose intolerant; I can't drink milk and I won't stand for it.

Rocrastinator Extraordinaire said...

MG: sounds marvo. Am a bit stupidly busy this week: London tomorrow for the UK copyedit (how bonkers that I'm doing both in one week when they're coming out months apart), working Weds, off to Paris Thursday night (hurrah!) at some hideous hour (boo) meaning I really ought to try to get some kip Thurs daytime. Hmm. Maybe lunch on Thurs? or we could do afternoonish decaf, since clearly even I can't manage to sleep for the entire day.

How are you fixed? I wish to hear all the exciting developments about promotional thingies etc. And I think milk spews from the devil's own nipples, so you're safe on that front (though I do drink it in tea: tea + satanic juices are apparently somehow ok with my moral compass).