Monday, 10 March 2014

Guest Rant 1: Pernickety.

You may or may not recognise the phrase 'wanting to go to the far end of a fart'. This effectively means, wanting to go into superfluous and unnecessary detail and sums up exactly my experience of Germans proofreading anything I write.

As  an 'eingedeutschte' Brit, I often take it upon myself to write letters, emails or texts in German. In fact, this is something I do on a daily basis, working in a German company. In some cases, when things require a particular formality or need to be absolutely mistake-free, I ask a real German to have a read over and more-often-than-not, this is how things go:

E.g. Me to my native German boyfriend: "Hey, can you listen to this text a minute please and let me know if my grammar and word order is correct?"

Him: "OK"

Me: Reads out text that I already somewhat corrected for a British friend

Him: "Hmmm, what's the context? Where will it be displayed? I'd leave that bit out and change that because the Germans wouldn't go for that. Why is the described process so long? I mean, if she did it like [blah, blah, blah], it would be so much easier!"
Takes laptop and looks concentrated

..... half an hour later.....

Me, looking at 'corrected' text: "I just wanted you to check my spelling and grammar, not change the sense of the whole damn thing!"

We have a word for this where I come from: Pernikety.

Written by L: 

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