27 January 2009

I am really excited to see what this post does for my referral stats

by Cecily
So I was thinking about the title I put on that post about the Chinese hotel bathtub rule and wishing I had titled it something else. I know, I know, life's too short for regrets, don't cry over spilled milk, what's done is done, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye, you can't squeeze blood from a turnip. But listen! if you don't consider your mistakes and shortcomings how will you learn and grow? And by "you", I mean "me".*

Anyway I titled it thusly:

Attontion! Crazy Germans!

but it occurred to me today that a much better title would have been

Attontion! Naked German Tourists!

This would have been incrementally more pithy and entertaining and also a more accurate reflection of the post's content (which included mention of people who were German, who were naked, and who were tourists in China, but did not make any explicit reference to these people's state or states of mental well-being and/or lack thereof).

Oh, well. Life goes on. You win some, you lose some. The beat goes on. Don't change horses in the middle of the stream. Never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead. The point is, you know what would not have been a good title? This:

Attontion! Naked Tourist Germans!

This is interesting** because "German" is a perfectly good noun in English, as well as being an adjective. And "tourist" can be an adjective too (examples, more examples). So I do not know why "German tourist" is so much better than "tourist German". It is a mystery! A mystery for the syntacticians to solve and then write incomprehensible papers about. Potentially a mystery that has already been solved and written about incomprehensibly by the syntacticians. Since I don't read syntax papers I will probably never know, and by extension, neither will you. Too bad for both of us.

In conclusion, what I really should have used for the title is

Attontion! Tourist German Nakeds!

Sorry guys. I'll try to do better next time.

*Actually I probably mean "I". Possibly "you", though. Maybe all three. In reality, it's usually kind of hard to tell what I mean. I don't worry about it too much.

**Interesting to ME. Why? Who did you think I meant?


  1. I believe that 'tourist' describes a state of being that is more essential than one's nationality. While there is a great deal of variation within the German population, tourists virtually meld into each other, becoming one unified force for douchebaggery and misplaced zeal.

  2. Hm. So you contend that strings of descriptors should be ordered by decreasing specificity. Maybe, maybe. All things are possible. I wish a syntactician would comment on this post and tell us all about it.