posted by catherine / August 24, 2005 /

okay, so who sent me this washington post article on the naming contest for the already-unofficially-named butterstick? it was from a very cleverly-named too cute. i actually just wrote my own bit on it for DCist.


It was me. Not trying to be cute, just hiding my email address. Normally, I wouldn’t have sent you the email, figuring you’d find it pretty quickly, but I was caught up in the excitement of a huge panda-naming brou-ha-ha that erupted in my office. I made an offhand remark that the panda name options were now online to my Chinese cubemate (who had warily provided a Butterstick translation a while back). She took a look at them and hated all of the choices. Like, seriously – she is the mellowest person I have ever met and this elicited one of the most passionate reactions about anything I have ever seen from her: “Washington? Sheng doesn’t mean Washington! Somebody just made that up! Those names are all stupid! And they never should have given you a choice that begins with a ‘Q’! Americans won’t ever pronounce it correctly! The names are all lies, words Americans can’t pronounce, or stupid mountains!”

So, the office troublemaker overhears this, is shocked to see Chinese Cubemate so worked up, and decides to see just how far he can push her by staking out one of his trademark contrary-just-to-pick-a-fight positions (a typical one being “that’s why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote”) and announces that pandas consume too many resources while serving no purpose in this world so we should actively try to make them extinct. The discussion that ensued eventually escalated to such a point that I am surprised water was not thrown.

Posted by: Becks on August 24, 2005 05:01 PM

that's so awesome! thank you. and that is really interesting about your office mate's reaction to the proposed names. i mean, i don't know anything about the pronunciation or actual meaning of the names, but their translations were pretty shitty, i thought. dragon mountain? wtf?

Posted by: catherine on August 24, 2005 05:06 PM

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