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CIBARA GNITIRW

21/08/2012

Hjertelig velkommen til våre nye lesere i Norge

Lämpimästi tervetuloa uudet lukijat Suomessa – eller är du svensk-högtalare?

Just before the start of the recent Olympic Games (held in London, just in case you’d forgotten!) the gigantic new Westfield shopping-centre – which is confusingly in East London – hung huge welcome banners for the visiting shoppers of the world. One of them was, of course, in Arabic.

Except that it wasn’t. It was diamond-studded, ocean-going gibberish. It was written back-to-front and with redundant spaces between the letters, in the Arabic equivalent of capitals, instead of the correct elision. Adding insult to injury, the error was carefully replicated on the t-shirts of many of the Westfield employees working in the shopping centre. “It is cringe-worthy,” said Chris Doyle of the Council for Advancing Arab-British Relations.

Perhaps the Arab-speaking world will remember to return the slipshod compliment and, for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, will flourish banners which read:

RATAQOTEMOCLEW

Of course, that presupposes that the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing footballers of England or (ludicrously) Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland actually manage to take time off from counting their money to qualify for the tournament.

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