Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Inadvertent truths (1)

I needed to get hold of my landlord yesterday (to query why he had not, as promised, turned up with workmen to re-lay the floor on my terrace - after I had dutifully got out of bed bright and early, on what was supposed to have been a holiday, to greet this expected intrusion).

He wasn't available: his phone was switched off, or the battery was dead.

The automated message from China Mobile (one I hadn't ever heard before) said:

The subscriber you have dialled is powerless.

Ah, yes. We all know that feeling from time to time. Especially in China.

[I wonder if that is a message created specifically for the situation where the phone's battery is out of juice? Can the service provider tell why a phone isn't responsive - dead battery, removed battery, switched off, or out of signal reach? I think I've sometimes heard "The subscriber you have dialled cannot be reached"; but the usual message is the classically Chinglish-y "The subscriber you have dialled is power-off."

I've really never heard "The subscriber you have dialled is powerless" before; but I rather like it. It's one of those happy accidents that makes you fall in love with Chinglish all over again.]

No comments: