Today’s laugh comes from a company in China that apparently prefers to remain nameless.  Seriously!  There is absolutely no manufacturer’s name on any of the packaging!

I use a stand up desk at the university where I teach, so when I ran across an ad for a simple product that might allow me to stand up while working at home, I went ahead and ordered it.  When it arrived today, I laughed out loud!  An LOL that is a literal “LOL”!

Enjoy, but I wonder what both bits about children are implying…

Standing desk 1Standing desk 2

Terms of enDEARment

I was in the car just the other day, plugged back into Sirius XM radio after a hiatus of regular AM/FM offerings and (I’m so tired of them) the songs on my iTunes.  I was listening to 70’s on 7, when Babe, by Styx, came on.

It was the visual that made me stop, seeing the actual name on the screen in the car.  Without the visual, I probably would have sung along, blissfully ignorant of the language issue in front of me.

Back up six months to a conversation I had with my 22 year old daughter.  She and her boyfriend called each other “babe”, and she recommended I consider calling my husband “babe”.  Besides being mildly amused by the relationship advice, I told her that our preferred term of endearment was “honey” or the shortened “hon” when in a hurry.

To a 22 year old, “honey” apparently sounds entirely ridiculous.  She continued to press me to call my husband “babe”.  I had a hard time being polite, but quite frankly, to me, “babe” conjures images like this:



Thanks to Styx on 70s on 7, I started reflecting on how terms of endearment vary by generation, as well as evolve along with language.  “Babe” has spawned the infamous “BAE“, which I hope is just a fad, very short-lived in the English language.  Apparently “babe” in the 70s was popular enough for Styx to pen a song, but then cycled out of popularity for a time.  “Babe” is now back in vogue.

In the translation business, we often have a keen eye out for false friends, those terms that look like they should be synonymous from one language to another, but in fact have very different meanings.  Their confusion by novices causes rollicking laughter in our industry.  Further reflection on “babe” led me to realize that I also hide a false term of endearment in my vocabulary: “dear”.  If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself on the receiving end of my “dear”, it most definitely means I am supremely angry with you.  It’s a warning sign, a shot over the bow, a good indication to run for the hills.

For now, I will stick with “honey”, and my daughter will stick with “babe”, and we will probably grimace when we hear the other affectionately address a partner.  But I have now let the cat out of the bag regarding my “dears”.  It may be time to find a new false term of endearment.


“For many years, we have offered Spanish-language versions of some of our most popular public information materials.  However, when we discovered that the Spanish version of one of our most popular booklets was in dire need of updating in order to correspond with the updated English version, we found ourselves with no good translation options.  It was then that one of my friends at the New York State Bar Association extolled the work of Claire Ziamandanis. I contacted Claire by e-mail and quickly discovered that she was not only willing to assist us, but to do so in a very timely and affordable manner. Throughout the translation process, she asked insightful questions about the precise meaning of wording in the English version of our booklet in order to accurately convey the same meaning in Spanish – indicative of her commitment to a job well done. She was tenacious in working to overcome challenges posed by some portions of the booklet produced using two different programs. Despite this, the project was completed in a far shorter period that I could have imagined, resulting in The Missouri Bar being able to more readily provide this valuable document to those who need it. Claire is a consummate professional who is committed to excellence, but is also very accommodating and gracious in her interactions with clients.  I would not hesitate to call on her again – and I’m confident that we will!”

– Gary Toohey, Director of Communications, The Missouri Bar


“Our company is a multimillion-dollar manufacturing corporation that requires comprehensive, precise technical and marketing literature for various audiences, including contractors, engineers, homebuilders, developers, distributors and manufacturer reps. We have been working with True Translations since 2015 for Spanish translations on everything from technical documents, such as manuals, specifications and submittals, to marketing pieces, such as brochures, sell sheets and product guides. Claire offers a unique dual role as both an accurate translator and a savvy technical editor who is highly well-versed in the areas of plumbing and HVAC. Her attention to detail coupled with her responsiveness and reliability help us to accurately meet deadlines on every project she completes for us. She is a resource we can always count on for any project, big or small, and we are very lucky to have her as our translation partner for our ever-growing business.”

-Kim Bliss, Technical Communications Manager, Uponor