Happy New Year!
Here’s a fun true story about NOT hiring a bilingual proof reader:
Many years ago, I got a job typesetting for a company that specialized in supermarket flyers. Several of our accounts were for flyers in Spanish. But, like good Orange County, Cali. gringos, they couldn’t be bothered to hire a bilingual proofreader. Came the new year, in giant HEADLINE type:
¡Feliz Ano Nuevo!
It SHOULD have been
¡Feliz Año Nuevo! (Happy New Year)
Instead, a hundred thousand SoCal customers were greeted with the joyous sentiment: Happy New Asshole!
We lost the account. In a New York Minute. We hired a proofreader fluent in Spanish AND English.
What a difference a la tilde de la eñe makes!
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
— Genesis 11:1–9 “The Tower of Babel”
So, a bit of New Year’s advice: watch it!