I work at a small newspaper that employs a staff of Chinese writers and editors who write and edit in English. They’re an earnest, hard-working bunch, and I admire them immensely for consistently putting together a publication in their second language. But sometimes, mistakes happen — which is why they employ myself and D, the other foreigner on staff. The vast majority of the time, we catch the mistakes. On occasion, an error slips through — a typo, or a Chinglish caption we forgot to check. Other times… well, other times, we caption a picture of Carl Weathers as “Joseph Kony” and send it out to the masses.
Last night, on a proof of a full-page story about the anti-Kony campaign in China, we had an above-the-fold picture of Carl Weathers identified as Joseph Kony before D noticed it and wrote in the margins:
Dude! I seriously thought this was a screen capture of Carl Weathers in Predator. He could be his double!
I Bing’ed it (since I was on a VPN-blocking office network). Sure enough, it was Carl Weathers of Predator fame, not Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Here is Weathers:
And here is Kony:
Later, with the picture replaced, I still did a double-take. Was that really Kony?
And now I wonder if D and I shouldn’t have let the mistake through. After all, it’s an easy mistake to make, and we certainly wouldn’t have been the first people to confuse the two. It would’ve made for one hell of a funny moment.
But D and I already had our laugh. My colleague cracked up so hard, in fact, that he leaned back and broke his chair, spilling onto the ground. When it happened, no one in the office so much as poked a head out of their cubicle to see what was going on. That’s just how they roll, I guess: earnest and hard-working. I think they would’ve appreciated the joke, though.