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-   -   Not Funny - but truly embarassing (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/chit-chat-cruisers/398890-not-funny-but-truly-embarassing.html)

Paul Motter September 20th, 2013 11:29 AM

Not Funny - but truly embarassing
 
Coca-Cola blames bilingualism for ?You Retard? message in bottle cap | canada.com

In Canada Coke tried a bilingual contest where they put an English and a French word together to send a message to customers, unfortunately, one of the combinations that came up was "You Retard."

I don't know about you - we used to say this all the time when I was a kid, but now I find it very offensive to make fun of people with disabilities, and I would never say this.

Now - Coke did not do this on purpose - but they did it - and it slipped by. OOps.

ship2shore September 20th, 2013 11:44 AM

Curious... Was the word "Retard" capitalized when you quoted it? Or did you do that? I couldn't find a capitalized "retard" anywhere in the piece. In the photo its all caps.

"retard" means "late" in French (and is pronounced differently, with a short-sound "e" like ruh-tard), and the English slang word meaning is a derivative, implying late development.

"Tu es en retard"
and "Vous êtes en retard" both mean "You are late. or, You are delayed.- but there is a direct translation for delay - en délai"

Google Translate obviously is the culprit in this case. Read any good Chinese assembly instructions lately?
"Take shaft and insert tightly into orifice" "repeat at other end"

edited to add: Obviously the journalist doesn't speak French either... His definition of "retard" is flawed: He says "which means to slow or delay". He should have said 'which means A slowdown or delay', a definition only true for the noun form. "être en retard" (adjective form) in French simply means "to be late".

Mike M September 20th, 2013 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1485036)
Coca-Cola blames bilingualism for ?You Retard? message in bottle cap | canada.com

In Canada Coke tried a bilingual contest where they put an English and a French word together to send a message to customers, unfortunately, one of the combinations that came up was "You Retard."

I don't know about you - we used to say this all the time when I was a kid, but now I find it very offensive to make fun of people with disabilities, and I would never say this.

Now - Coke did not do this on purpose - but they did it - and it slipped by. OOps.

The ALS systems on Airbus aircraft will make an audio message to the pilots upon landing. It is "Retard, Retard, Retard". This means to throttle back the engines. My pilot buddy hates flying any plane that insults him. :)

Take care,
Mike

ship2shore September 20th, 2013 12:19 PM

Airbus is made in France. I bet the audio message is pronounced properly. (soft "e" sound, like ruh-tard)

Mike M September 20th, 2013 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ship2shore (Post 1485044)
Airbus is made in France. I bet the audio message is pronounced properly. (soft "e" sound, like ruh-tard)

Yes it does have a French accent. I didn't "quote" what he said about being insulted upon landing because I didn't want to offend our French readership. :)

Take care,
Mike

Donna September 20th, 2013 12:40 PM

Wow, those are some pretty big OOPS....yes, I too remember being a kid and using that word all the time, but not to truly offend anyone.....was just being a kid.

Cruznut2 September 21st, 2013 06:01 PM

I saw that and was stunned that they could do such a thing. Knowing the story now made me feel better about the error.
As most of you know I worked for years with people with disabilities. Some of you even got to meet my Patty on the Glory cruise.
I realize that people toss that word around almost as much as they do the "F-bomb" I just wish they would realize the hurt they could be inflicting on an innocent person. Retarded does not mean stupid!
Now I will climb don from my soapbox and go away!

Laura

AR September 22nd, 2013 05:11 PM

Much ado about nothing.

Everybody who's ever had first year French knows the meaning of the word in that language, and for those who don't it has been exhaustively explained here.

The OP correctly points out that they didn't do it on purpose, to which I would add that in the context of the game they seemed to be playing, it's not really even a "mistake."

I think it's time for the PC police to take a donut break.

Manuel September 22nd, 2013 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AR (Post 1485197)

I think it's time for the PC police to take a donut break.

It certainly is.

TM

ship2shore September 22nd, 2013 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike M (Post 1485040)
The ALS systems on Airbus aircraft will make an audio message to the pilots upon landing. It is "Retard, Retard, Retard". This means to throttle back the engines. My pilot buddy hates flying any plane that insults him. :)

Take care,
Mike

Mike, correct me if Im wrong, but isn't the universal language of commercial aviation English? Why would your buddys plane talking to him in French? Or is it a bad English translation?

Mike M September 23rd, 2013 05:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ship2shore (Post 1485210)
Mike, correct me if Im wrong, but isn't the universal language of commercial aviation English? Why would your buddys plane talking to him in French? Or is it a bad English translation?

It is not speaking in French. It is using the word "retard" in the correct manner. Retard (slow down) the engines. However, the automated voice has a French accent.

Take care,
Mike

AR September 23rd, 2013 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike M (Post 1485232)
It is not speaking in French. It is using the word "retard" in the correct manner. Retard (slow down) the engines. However, the automated voice has a French accent.

Take care,
Mike

Yup, it's not Franglaise or even Angfraise.

It's just what happens when a number of languages take words from the Latin root, in this case retardare.

ship2shore September 23rd, 2013 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike M (Post 1485232)
It is not speaking in French. It is using the word "retard" in the correct manner. Retard (slow down) the engines. However, the automated voice has a French accent.

Take care,
Mike

That must sound truly weird. No wonder the Coneheads were from "France".

AR September 24th, 2013 10:47 AM

Of course this brings up the very interesting question of how words like "retarded" came to be pariahs in the first place. Laura is absolutely right when she says that "retarded" does not mean "stupid." And if you don't believe that, just check the dictionary. When the French computer voice says to "retard the engines," he doesn't mean to make the engines stupid, he means that the pilots should throttle down to slow the engines, as Mike points out.

The core meaning of "retard" is "slow." As such, it was used for ages to describe without deprecation what we now use a million euphemisms to describe: some sort of dysfunction having to do with the mind. It was, from a linguistic point of view, a perfectly appropriate descriptor, although not particularly specific.

But there sure isn't anything specific about "challenged," a word that drives me nuts, because not only is it sugar-coated, it's not as on-point as "retarded" was. There are all sorts of challenges, many of them having nothing to do with the concept of "not up-to-speed."

Euphemisms have always been one of my pet linguistic peeves. I hate them, because they tend to water down both language and thought. I understand that they can be comforting (it's a lot less painful to say "I put my cat to sleep" than "I killed my cat"), but in the long run I've always thought it best to say what you mean.

I'm sure many a doctoral thesis has been written about this. And don't flame me. . .I don't use "retarded" to describe the mentally ill. I accede to the sensibilities of the commonweal, and I'm not interested in gratuitous insults.

But between our educational deficiencies as a nation and the imprecision caused by political correctness, our language is certainly becoming weaker.


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