Monday, November 13, 2006


Astute filmgoers will recognize the above catchphrase cum greeting from the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, now enjoying the Number One box office slot for the second consecutive week. Borat himself, of course, is the creation of Sacha Baron Cohen, a British comedian and actor.

She Who Must Be Obeyed and I enjoyed a couple of Borat moments during these past several days. Last Sunday, as we walked north from the Mall in Washington, D.C. toward Elder Daughter’s apartment, we passed the Kazakhstani Embassy. I was seized with a sudden urge to making sexytime with SWMBO right then and there...but what with having Elder Daughter with us, I was able to restrain myself.

Yesterday, at breakfast with our friends Dr. Marc and Shelly, we discovered that their youngest daughter - a resident of New York - broke her Yom Kippur fast with none other than Sacha Baron Cohen himself. Turns out he is close friends with one of her co-workers.

Borat, despite the consternation he has caused amongst the ruling elite of Kazakhstan, is a purely fictional character. He’s funny in part because Kazakhstan is a blank space on the map to most Americans, where it is all to easy to believe that they make cheese from human breast milk and wine from fermented horse urine.

The other, less-acknowledged source of humor in Borat is simpler: it’s the fact that foreigners who speak mangled English are funny as hell. Admit it!

To illustrate this point, let’s take a Random Page from my referrer stats, a blog called Every Thing about Science and Space. Sounds serious, innit? But it is, in fact, a rich source of unintentional Found Humor - because the guy who writes it is sitting in Bucharest, Romania, and he is, to put it graciously, somewhat English-Challenged.

I suspect that Dimake - so he calls himself - has stumbled upon an Internet Romanian-English Translation Site, for the English is reminiscent of the instruction manuals you used to get with inexpensive Japanese cameras back in the early 1960’s. Check it out:
GPS-Endowed pigeons enlist to you like Bloggers pollution

If the pigeons wrote their own ones blogs, could speak about where to notice the bread crumb or to find the points roosting main. Hour, for means of fagotti high technology many small, the pigeons really have become bloggers-but they are messages of shipment approximately the smog of California.

In a plan known like PigeonBlog, the sensors in the fagotti collect the data on toxic gases, which the carbon monoxide and dioxide of nitrogen, poich the birds traversano through skies of the city. The information then are transmitted of new to a calculating center them, that it automatically sendes a program of the concentration of the polluting substances on the Internet.

Avian Reporters

Beatriz da Costa, a university professor of the limbs, the calculation and engineering to the university of California, Irvine, dreammed on the idea. One of the inspirations for the plan was muovendo towards California and “seeing the smog in L.A.,” it has said. “It is enough defective outside here.”

Around at the same time camera around to the relative neck has worked through one photo of one hundred years of a pigeon with one.

“The pigeons were annull one of ours first arrange of delivery,” Coast of from saying.

It has decided to modernize this idea for ventunesimo the century and “to use the pigeons as journalists in order to signal on a situation put into effect them.”
I’ve taken the liberty of copying the entire post, but it’s worth visiting the site to see some of Dimake’s other fine examples of English composition. Borat himself would be proud.

Is it juvenile and in poor taste to make fun of a foreigner’s lousy English? Sure it is! I imagine that my Romanian would be even funnier to a native Romanian...and I’m OK with that. Let ’em point their fingers at me and snicker.

To paraphrase Galileo, “Nevertheless, it still makes me laugh until I shit.”

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