July 23rd, 2007

A Good Mood Can Be Dangerous; Or, Maybe You Should Just Re-Read That Email Before Clicking Send

The week is off to a good start. I approved of the last Harry Potter book (well, not all the events contained therein—but you can’t have everything). The mood around the office is pretty cheerful (someone everyone likes just got back from vacation, and someone else is heading out). And my clever brother cracked me up this morning in a demonstration about how wrong online translation services are.


(Okay, just a brief aside. Someone who places far too much trust in online translation services sent me a note in a foreign language. [Last week someone else translated something else using an online translation service, and the first sentence ended up like this: “It was a pleasure satisfying you last week.”] Reading this note practically makes my eyes bleed—everything about it is just so, so wrong. But my brother eased my pain by translating the translation back into English—using, of course, an online translation service. Here I present the doubled translation for your reading enjoyment:


“People think, the email, which we please on Friday over for them send that on the new web site to register the on-line circular was. I screwed above particularly there and it out first as code... would send, which good that is? So then I regulated the problem and send to him out, therefore they could see it. My assumption is to receive that we should send somewhat probably again soon and it to make very clearly that they must register on the new web site, in order upcoming the circular, if they come out.”)


So probably it was that goofy translation that really ramped up my mood. Anyone who knows me well knows that when I’m too happy (or too caffeinated. Or, God forbid, both) I get a little wackier than usual. Which is the only way I can explain the email I just sent.


A very kind woman, secretary to a person I need to correspond with regularly, did me a huge favor: I had to run something past the boss, who is heading out on vacation, and the secretary managed to run it past him before he left—and then emailed me to tell me all was well. “You did perfectly,” she added. Every dang email from her is like that—just complacent and comfortable, you know? And so I emailed her back:


“Can we bottle you?? We can call it ‘Judy in a Jar—Instant Mood Improver.’”


Other writers may understand that I was so focused on the lovely alliterative turn of phrase that the creepy, serial-killer-type undertones of suggesting bottling a human being didn’t occur to me until I had clicked Send.


Fortunately for me, I am far too bubbly this morning to feel too bothered by the whole thing. I can only hope that the nice, nice secretary is similarly bolstered. Sigh.


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