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Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Annals of catymology: Free-nozzles in cyberspace

Pouncing on language snafus continues to be an endless source of amusement for amanuensis and me. It's not just marauding spammers who are ripping tasty giblets out of the language: Google, the Yule Cat of search engines, entertains us with catymological examples.

Thanks to Irv Muchnick of the blog Freelance Rights for drawing our attention to Google's instant translation feature. His droll December 12 post of a Google "instant translation" from the Italian, reads in part:
The supreme court of the United States has decided in the cause on the Tasini case to favor of the publicists free-nozzles: editori and producers of bases give to you have smashed the law on the copyright, rendering accessible the articles of the writers professionals, already publish to you to press, in one base give to you electronic without the permission of the authors. Which will be the consequences of this sentence on the market of the information electronic?

The article in question concerns the 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Tasini v. Times, in which the court held that publishers of online databases had infringed freelance writers' copyrights. Since that decision, we've all been nothing but free-nozzles in cyberspace, pouring out our thoughts and secrets without monetary reward.


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