NEPAL HAS A minor hit record. And in classic Asian fashion, it is based on a spelling mistake.
“Looser” by a group named Kewa, which you can hear on YouTube, features the catchy line:
''L to the DOUBLE-O. S. E. R! Loser. I’m a loser. Call me loser.”
I heard about this from Nepalese reader Christyn.
Unfortunately someone is going to have to break some bad news to Kewa. Clearly members of that band did not realize that “loser” (which means “seriously uncool person”) has a completely different meaning to the word “looser” (which means “less tight”).
Or maybe band members are referring to their low-slung pants, which some untrendy people are STILL wearing?
We all make spelling mistakes, especially me, but to make one in the title of your commercial work is massively embarrassing.
Another one on the same scale:
Reader Ellen Lau sent me a cutting from a US newspaper called Valley News which misspelled its own name as Valley Newss.
To cut down on the number of errors in this column, today I hand it over to readers.
After reading in this space that you can be jailed for using bad words in most Asian countries, Mike Munson sent a list of gentle cuss words used by Mormons:
“Flip, Freak, Fudge, Deep Dog Doo, Dammy Sammy, Hoover Dam, Shitake Mushroom, Holy Moly, Geeze Louise, Good Gravy, Shoot, Bubble, H-E double hockey sticks, Aw Scrud, Momma Mia, Ratsamatootsa, Holy Cow and Oh My Coconut Ding Ball Bat.”
But there is a downside to using these swear words, Mike warned. “You’ll sound like a cast member of a 1960s family sitcom.”
A reader named Kartini told me of a case where a doctor described one patient as an “SOB” before asking a medical student: “Can you explain what I mean by that?”
The student replied: “What? In front of all these people!?”
It turned out SOB was medical slang for “Short of Breath”.
On the topic of songs used by torturers in Guantanomo Bay, Hong Kong student Christy Chiang said: “Cantonese Opera would have made all the terrorists spill their beans.”
A student named Mahjuja wrote to say that intercity bus services in Bangladesh play Hindi love songs continuously for hours. “Torturers could just make their subjects travel on these buses,” she said.
I also got three rather thought-provoking letters from married men.
Rob Lau said:
“I keep reading articles saying that they are about to invent female Viagra. But Louis Vuitton handbags have been available in my local shopping center for years.”
CK Chau sent me a sad note:
“My wife nags me all the time. Her main complaint is that I don’t listen to her. Or something like that. I wasn’t really paying attention.”
The most worrying came from a gentleman who did not want his name published:
“My wife thinks I am schizophrenic and wants me to go to the doctor. But we refused.”
THANKS, fardel, Angela, Ram, Dinu and everyone else for the nice bits of wisdom on this page while I have been away in China.