A 64-year-old Japanese man who works at the water bureau in Kobe has made a grave error. He left his desk for a break three minutes early so that he could buy a bento box for lunch. In fact, over a period of seven months, he boldly repeated this offense 26 times.
Once word got out, he was shamed for his dishonorable work ethics. He was forced to bow an apology on a televised news conference, after those who ran the conference called his deplorable actions "deeply regrettable."
Of course his lost minutes were calculated and deducted from his pay.
When asked why he would do such a disrespectful thing as to leave 3 minutes early, he said he needed a "change of pace."
In case you are in Japan and make a faux pas as serious as missing an appointment by 3 minutes, or if you commit some other rude act like accidentally bumping into someone, or saying a wrong word in Japanese that is actually something crude, here is a video that teaches you the many different forms of apology bows, depending on the level of shame you've inflicted upon yourself. Keep in line!
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Image: Akuppa John Wigham - The Bow, CC BY 2.0, Link
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The first person in an elevator in Japan in the "elevator captain," with duties to keep the door-open button pressed during load/unload and then button-mash close-door once loading is complete, with elevator captaincy being transferred to the next-most-proximate rider once the captain reaches their floor. Read the rest
"What's your handle, creep?" "Don't tell us to move to another channel!" "You sound like you're dying... why don't you go ahead and drop dead!" Trolling was alive and well on CB radios in the 1960s, as these vintage South Philly conversations from 1969 prove. Read the rest
Silent movies were preceded by stern/comic etiquette messages reminding viewers to take off their hats before the show, lest they interfere with other viewers' enjoyment. Read the rest
The New York Times' John Metcalfe has a very funny story out today on self-appointed grammar and spelling nazis on Twitter: anal-retentive, fail-wailing buzzkills who troll fellow users (particularly high-profile ones) for typos and such. Boing Boing's esteemed guestblogger John Cusack starts off the piece, and I was also interviewed.
Cusack, it should be said, deserves real praise for keeping it real. He comes off in the piece as he does in person: self-deprecating humor, and just a cool, down-to-earth dude. So many stars of his stature farm out their tweets and Facebook interactions to assistants, publicists, PR handlers. Not him. As my Boing Boing colleagues know, I'm the biggest copyediting nitpicker obsessive in the world, but I really respect him for approaching the new experience of Twitter with sincerity, authenticity, and a desire to understand the medium by using it himself (and, fine, smashing a few cups in the china shop along the way). Bruteforce it, baby. Snip:
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JOHN CUSACK tweets with his iPhone and, much like the characters he plays, his style is fast and loose. "I'm pretty new to it, and if there's a spell check on an iPhone, I can't find it," he said by telephone. "So I basically get in the general ballpark and tweet it."
Consequently, Mr. Cusack has birthed strange words like "breakfasy" and "hippocrite" and has given a more literary title to his new movie: "Hot Tub Tome Machine."
Most of his followers ignore the gaffes. But a vocal minority abuse him about it nonstop, telling the star that as much as they liked "The Sure Thing," his grammar and spelling sure stink.