Mar 23, 2007

Lawyers say the damnest things. I told my friend L. about the shinto shrine short-circuit and she replied that sometimes it's not something that is too close to home that throws you off. A very unexpected word in a quasi-predictable context can do the trick. She illustrated her point with a little tale.

Once she was interpreting in an arbitration meeting awash with legalese when the speaker casually remarked that "certas decisões arbitrais mais parecem um ornitorrinco". The effort she put into searching her memory for the word platypus- which she managed to deliver without resorting to "you know, that strange animal with duck feet and a bill that is actually an egg-laying mammal"- was so intense that her brain's CPU burned out for the rest of the day.

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