Re: Interesting programming description for bank selection

From: Marko Mäkelä <>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:21:57 +0300
Message-ID: <20140422062157.GA4490@x220>
Hi Jim,

>less mature and global version of myself was greatly perturbed when you 
>responded "Don't make the same failure like Jim...".  I'll let others 
>search for it, I cringed when I found it.  Suffice it to say that 
>"failure" carries a most negative connotation in the US, which we 
>probably get from the British.  Now, of course, I realize the sentence 
>is "Don't make the same mistake...", which is still pretty direct, but 
>is more accepted around here.

Oh yes, I had happily forgotten about that episode. Apologies for 
breaking the

I would say that my choice of word "failure" instead of "mistake" was 
more accidental than intentional; I am not a native English speaker, and 
I still do not claim to know the connotations of different words, even 
after working 10+ years in a global environment, primarily using email 
and instant messages for communication. The global language is "broken 
English", you have to be happy to get the grammar and spelling halfway 
correct. :)

I was young and had a slightly different view of the world. Now I 
believe to know it better, that the American way is to design everything 
for the "least common denominator". While you do not expect anyone to be 
so stupid to dry a cat in a microwave oven, you still write a disclaimer 
to keep the lawyers away. I guess that the reluctance to implement 
certain international standards, such as the Metric system, is coming 
from that too (American people are too used to the imperial system). It 
does not necessarily mean "we are the US, the world revolves around us".

By the way: it has worked also the other way around. I have heard that 
the Soviet Union used Metric 2.5mm spacing on IC cases instead of 0.1" 
or 2.54mm, and that they used metric scale on aircraft altimeters while 
the globally established convention is feet. I would guess that this was 
deliberate, to oppose the "imperialistic" system. :)

>Mind you, I like the direct approach, but you have to know the context 
>during the conversation.  And, yes, I used the word "interesting" in 
>the manner you inferred.

This kind of things happen when people from diverse cultural backgrounds 
communicate. You simply cannot know all the background and context.


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Received on 2014-04-22 07:00:08

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