Thursday, 29 May 2008

the door is sluice

When I was in Italy I noticed an interesting sign on the door of our hotel. It said something like "When you leave, please make sure the door is sluice." I don't have a photo so you'll have to trust me.

chiusa is the feminine form of chiuso "closed", but la chiusa also means "sluice". Enter la porta è chiusa (the door is closed) in babelfish and it returns "the door is sluice." So it's a machine translation error.

I couldn't write this without mentioning that sluice, closed and chiusa are all related. sluice is from Old French escluse from Late Latin exclūsa, which is the feminine past participle of exclūdere "to shut out". This is a combination of ex "out" plus claudere "to shut". The verb close is from Old French clore, past participle clos, "to close," from Latin claudere. I'm almost completely certain that the Italian chiudere "to close", past participle chiuso is from Latin claudere as well.

Here's another bad machine translation that I did photograph: a menu in Montecatini. Pens to the angry one!


komfo,amonan said...

It's all fun and games to you, but seriously, you don't want to be around if she doesn't get her pens. Just let her have her pens.

goofy said...

Pens! They're the best friends you can have. Everything I know about people I learned from pens. If they don't work, you shake 'em. If they still don't work, you chuck 'em away, bin them!

Drew said...

"Pens to the angry one" reminds me of Sleater-Kinney's "All Hands on the Bad One."