2014/10/01

"Where is limit" and the decline in rote learning

Lenox here and here and here writes:

Well, here's a race you won't want to miss - it's the prize-winning 'Stupidest Titled Activity 2014' which this year goes to the World Capital of Plastic Farming: '1st Trail Where Is Limit El Ejido'. Yes, they are all very excited, especially the chap who had the honour of finding, with just a google translator to help him navigate through the difficult Idioma de Shakespeare, the title for this magnificent event, a race across the hills behind the luscious resort.

This has nothing to do with translation, and it's very curious. Where Is The Limit, the organisation itself, gets it right, but things go wrong when functionaries in El Egido fail to copy a simple four-word title correctly from the marketing materials, and their mess is then imitated faithfully by Diario de Almería and La Voz de Almería. By this stage it has become "I Where is Limit El Ejido", which could lead trusting punters to some very strange conclusions regarding English verbs.

Why, oh why? Is this part of the alleged crisis caused by the abandonment of fact-based learning, which in England has apparently left 25% of secondary school children believing that Winston Churchill was a fictional talking dog, rather than a cat? Should Andalusian civil servants return to copying stuff off blackboards, with beatings when they screw up? (I know, you think they should be beaten anyway, but primate rights lawyers will catch up with you sooner or later.)

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