The Word Games

Word Games

Did you hear about the latest uproar in Colombia? No? Why am I not surprised? It has to do with a disappearance, but not the kind that you’re used to hearing about. Instead of a person this time, it’s just one little letter: an l. But what a kerfuffle that has caused! Más perdida que el hijo de “Limber”, más perdida que la mamá de Tarzán, más perdida que un moco en una oreja . . . yes, I’d say that l is irrecoverably, unretrievably lost and with him a whole South American country’s pride, at least for a day or two.

The World Games are being hosted in Cali, Colombia right now, and it turns out that the gold, silver, and bronze medals all say The Word Games instead of The World Games. Whoops. I guess there’s no use in pointing fingers at this stage in the game, but it’s too fun not to snicker. I think this error garrafal is hilarious, and it was especially funny to me to read it reported in El Tiempo of all places. Now that is el burro hablando de orejas (the pot calling the kettle black) if I ever heard it. Look for yourself; El Tiempo has an abysmal track record when it comes to spelling, even at the exact moments when they have the gall to come down on others’ mistakes.

¡Qué oso! Yep, that pretty much sums it up. And this from a country where they make such a fuss about the “It’s Colombia, Not Columbia” campaign.

Here are a few online reactions that I find funny.

A few events we could expect to see at the Word Games

A few events we could expect to see at the Word Games

From Twitter:

-Yo creo que en los Word Games ganaría alguito, pero me iría muy mal en los de Excel y PowerPoint.

I think that in the Word Games I’d win a few points, but it would go horribly for me in the Excel and PowerPoint Games.

-Cada vez que entregan una medalla de los Word Games, un corrector de estilo muere de hambre en algún lugar del mundo.

Each time they hand out a Word Games medal, a proofreader dies of hunger somewhere in the world.

-¿Cómo te fue en los Word Games? Los resultados los van a mandar en PDF.

How’d you do at the Word Games? They’re sending the results in a PDF.

-Lo que pasó con la persona que fabricó las medallas de los Word Games es que el inglés lo entiende pero no lo escribe.

The thing is that the person who made the medals for the Word Games understands English but can’t write it. (Sure sure, everybody claims to “understand” English. Mostly. Enough.)

-Nivel de inglés
-Muy bajo
-Traduzca mundo
-Utilícelo en una frase
-Word Games

-English level
-Very low
-Translate mundo
-Use it in a sentence
-Word Games
-You’re hired

Ni que fuera tan difícil escribir “world” . . .

What can I say, I get a big kick out of silly and utterly senseless spelling mistakes like this one. I’ve also just watched way too many Open English commercials on Youtube, so now I’ll go do something productive with my evening. Peace out, word.


19 responses to “The Word Games

  1. Haha! I wonder if someone let this mistake slip on purpose. Not that I can really judge, based on my own spelling tract record.


  2. It was probably stupid Autocorrect’s fault.

    Also, ahem, tract record??? ;)


  3. Wow…that is one embarrassing mistake. But you know, before reading the article, just looking at the photo…I really thought that was a medal for some kind of word game. *sigh* I guess I’m a little out of touch with the world news.


  4. ay ay ay this calls for an OOPS on CAPS LOCK, bold, underline and #2000 font ha ha ha


  5. “Jugos mundiales” would have been better.


  6. BTW, que tal su inglés? Pues ahí me defiendo… :)


    • ¿El inglés de quién? ¿De sumercé? Ah, pues si apenas te defiendes, entonces yo no hago sino gruñidos de cavernícola en español. Tan exagerado pues ;)


      • That was just a cryptic reference to you comment that “everybody claims to understand English.” When somebody says que se defiende, you already know that the person does not understand at all. However, thanks for your compliment: I’ll take it. I take all I can get. I have a pretty good feeling that if I heard you speaking Spanish I’d be amazed. Recently, somebody thought you were a native Colombian, right? Nobody would even consider that I am a native English speaker. And I love the piece of “cundiboyacence” culture in your reply.


        • Haha, very true. I have a good accent (though it gets weaker by the day) and I can really embody the Colombian spirit and get into what I’m saying, so I can be quite convincing :D

          But then you’ll notice all the little mistakes, maybe the perspiration on my brow, and the fact that my vocab hits a wall after a period. Maybe not– I’m super critical of myself. I’ve made some videos of myself speaking over the years– maybe it’s time to put them up. Then you could trace the evolution of my accent– from rolo to paisa to… no sé. Paisa agringado.

          People think I’m Colombian all the time, but they also have a hard time squaring how I talk with my very non-Latin appearance. I also think I come off as too serious to be able to pass as a Colombian for very long (hey, I take speaking Spanish well very seriously!). Got to loosen up and be (seem) happier :) :) :)


  7. Perspiration on your brow? That’s funny. You are probably too critical of yourself but you don’t come across as an uptight person. Uptight and dancing bachata? Maybe, but hard to believe. Colombians don’t really dance bachata, so this doesn’t help much. I’m sure you can dance many other things, though, Latin and otherwise.


  8. Well, this is funny and very much apropos, a highway sign with a spelling mistake: . Now, officials say they will put an adhesive patch to correct the error, and that attendance to the beach will probably not be affected (did anybody really think that you are going to change your mind or that you will miss the exit because the name is misspelled?).

    The medal people, on the other hand, apparently used a laser beam to etch the missing “l,” except that there was probably not enough room between the r and the d to do an adequate job. “Una chambonada,” the populace clamored… I thought I’d give you a good word to start your weekend.


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