Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fun with Classified Ads: Refuting the claim of excellent English in Jordan :)

I have been most amused with the classified ads in English in the newspapers since my very first trip to Jordan. On that trip, I spied an ad for a "reputed oil company" in Dubai. Apparently, the person who penned the ad is unaware of the difference between reputed and reputable. Reputed means "estimation in the view of others" or "to consider or believe". In the US, this means that the most frequent use of the word reputed is with the word mobster. So, Reputed mobster, Johnny Grotto, head of the XYZ crime family. Newspapers use this because stating that he is a mobster without adequate proof could lead to charges on slander, libel, or defamation of character. So, for this reputed oil company, we don't know what they do, but some people say they are an oil company. I suspect (given that they were trying to attract talent) that they really meant that the have a good reputation (reputable). Well, last week, I came across several more ads that tickled my funny bone. I hope you will enjoy them as well.

P.S. Okay, now, for those who aren't aware, P.S. means post script. It was used to add in something to a handwritten letter that you had forgotten. In the time before computers, you wouldn't want to write the whole letter again because you forgot to say something before you signed it. So, you add in a P.S. to add the information. Clearly, this use of PS is inappropriate. Not only is this not something that was forgotten unless the author called the newspaper back after placing the initial ad, but it's not even travelling by post!

This one is for an international school teaching the British National Curriculum, I almost didn't read this ad through to the end since it sounds like they should know their English, right?


That's right, ladies and gents. They aren't actually interested in references, only referees. Apparently, you were such a bad employee in previous position that people had to serve as referees for you. And they want to speak to them! Teehee.

This one is the least clear (sorry for the picture quality) and the easiest mistake to make, I have to admit. The company is, apparently seeking "A Highly Qualified" Sales Representatives and technical machines operators.

Apparently the day they covered agreement of plurals the author of this ad was absent...

And, finally, my favorite (although it is hard to pick a favorite with such winning entries...), dum, dum, dummmmmmmm...

Apparently, the person who penned this ad missed many things in English class. To begin with, they seem quite confused about the fact that Accountant is the person not the subject or department name. Perhaps, though, they mean they want someone who majored in another person? I guess it could be. But, my favorite is that immediately under Very good English language (skills, presumably?), they require ASAP course. Is this a new subject? I may be behind the times, but I'm unfamiliar with ASAP course.

Okay, in all seriousness having poked fun at the English skills of these people, they are much better than my Arabic skills. And, on the whole, people in Jordan do have excellent skills in English. I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed finding these ads.

Happy advertising!


At 8:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey MB the first one is unfair, true that PS is used in that manner in the orthodox sense.
personally i just use it to point out to something that is hardly related to what i wrote in my post which doesn't fit in it in any manner so i end up adding it as a PS :P although the others are mint
ps. 2 nice post from ya in one day :P

At 11:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow your standards are pretty high. You should see the Talasim site. There are far worse examples.

At 1:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

MommaBean, the Professional Proof Reader, strikes again!! HAHAHAH!

At 10:18 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Bambam, it might even be fine to use PS on your blog (at least it's casual and friendly writing), but this is a professional setting. And, you should hear my thoughts on the use of "" everywhere and the & sign. It's as if teachers don't actually teach folks here the difference between formal and informal writing (yes there IS a classical English in the sense that one is for formal writing).

Hani, I greatly enjoy Talasim as well. I find those quite amusing.

Kinzi, the honest truth (whcih I don't tell just everyone) is that I proofread everything (and typically make corrections in red ink either for real or in my mind). By everything, I'm including things like letters from friends, blog posts, magazines, books I read, everything. It's kind of sad...


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