Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blind Angel Egg The Dog

A little aside on the topic of linguistics - sort of.  I could think up some parable linking this to data quality, but I'll leave that to you.

Languages vary a lot.  In my mother tongue, English, we separate words with spaces.  In my second language, Dutch, words are grouped together into long strings.  These strings sometimes need a little time to decipher.

On a metro station a few days ago a poster caught my eye, especially the word BLINDENGELEIDEHOND.  I didn't immediately recognise it, so I automatically started splitting up the string in my head.


Blind Angel Egg The Dog.  Sounds great, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Except that the post has a Labrador puppy on it, so maybe the dog part is close.

Let's try again.


Blind and Jelly The Dog.  No, that doesn't make sense either.


Blinds Jelly The Dog. No, not getting any warmer.


Blind And You Slate The Dog.  With a Flemish accent. No no no, unless somebody was on drugs when they made the poster.

Oh, hang on ....


Guide Dog For The Blind!

It's not just me.  I know quite a number of people who see


and read BOMMEL|DING (something that putters along, like an old diesel locomotive) instead of BOM|MELDING (bomb alert).

Well, it kept me amused until the train arrived!

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