Thursday, August 20, 2015

LOLz: Taiwan Hunts Terrorist Bomber

...and you thought all those stories about Taiwan/Thailand confusion were apocryphal... from San Jose Mercury News...
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Mike Fagan said...

No, it's just that the error is propagated by the ignorant, such as old grandmothers and newspaper editors.

Anonymous said...

I seriously don't understand the confusion. Taiwan and Thailand, spelling wise, are NOT that similar. Austria and Australia would be a more forgivable confusion!

paul said...

taiwan isnt even that close to thailand in spelling and appearance other than having t-ai letters. people are really dumb.

Gil (AKA FOARP) said...

It really is just a case of paying little attention to what people say and never bothering to even register that there is a difference between "Taiwan" and "Thailand". My (at the time) somewhat space-cadet-ish brother took six months to register that I was living in Taiwan, not Thailand.

You can lambaste people for ignorance all you like, but only if you've never, ever made any mistake like referring to Czechoslovakia as if it still existed, mixing up the Baltics, not registering the difference between DR Congo and Congo (Brazzaville), mixing up Slovakia and Slovenia, calling the UK "England" etc. etc. that so many people out there make. Of course, in newspapers it is a hell of a lot less forgiveable, but it flows from the same phenomenon.

TaiwanJunkie said...

haha, just had the following encounter yesterday:

waiter: where were you from originally?
me: Taiwan
waiter: wow, I just met another family from Taiwan earlier this week.
waiter: so how's Thailand?
me: I heard it is very nice, never been though.
waiter: oh, you never been? don't you want to go?
me: yes, we would love to go, we have friends from Thailand that tell us it is really nice there.
waiter: "puzzled look."
me: we are thinking the next time we fly back to Taiwan, we would then fly to Thailand. They are fairly close to each other.
waiter: "really puzzled look."

but then this is a waiter in a Mexican resort town, not a newspaper editor...

Mike Fagan said...


You're mixing up two different things... one is the phonetic error, which obviously can be forgiven. The other is ignorance, or as you put it "...never bothering to even register that there is a difference between "Taiwan" and "Thailand"..." When the mix-up occurs in written form it's unlikely to be caused by phonetic error is it? It's because they simply don't know. Grannies and the like not knowing this is one thing, but newspaper sub-editors and perhaps even the ME himself not knowing... well that's grounds to have your arse booted out, that is.