Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who Could Win a Rabbit? or: Where'd you put the keys, girl?

Big points to whoever recognizes the two songs in the post title, both of which ran in and out of my head while we put together AmiExpat's rabbit dish for next week! Alas, I think I will be posting it a couple of days late, but hopefully everyone will join in for some "oh god there is a rabbit head in my trash can" fun next week!!

In the meantime, English-speaking expats in Germany can weigh in:
When you see Germans use the term 'so-called' in their English (that you are reviewing because it's for their paper or what have you) and they are not being sarcastic, do you change it?


  1. clearly they are tori amos! hm, but i want to think they are the same song, but one of them is a mondegreen.

  2. I do, but then I've found plenty of references where it's not "abwertend". I have seen some of the strangest English expressions, since I started doing this.

    (btw- I usually replace it with "")

  3. I change it only if it's clear that the audience is probably not just Germans.

    ("But then why write in English at all?" is the obvious question, to which the only answer is 'Selbstbeweiräucherung!'")

  4. I would change that to purported because "so-called" is so informal that I would need to put it in quotes. In addition, the inference is in some cases that of misrepresentation. Do Germans really think that is an approprite phrase to use?

  5. It used to annoy me, but I have learned to let such so-gennante idioms pass in peace.

  6. Love both of those songs! I haven't listened to Animal Collective in a while! : )

  7. With the "so-called" thing:

    If the people you're proof-reading are using 1-to-1 translation, I can see why they're using "so-called," but I would still correct for it. However, it's probably also important to let the writer know that, in English, "so-called" most often has a sardonic tone to it that can color what they're trying to say, while (to my limited knowledge, anyway) "so-genannt" more literally means this is what it's named.

  8. oh man, if I saw "so called" in anything I correct...they're gonna hear it from me! I'm only doing research articles for the life and natural sciences just now (with the odd commercial project sprinkled in), so yeah, "so called" does not fit within the scientific English sphere! =)


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