October 8, 2002
6:07 PM   Subscribe

"The story stated that the 'Nuestra Senora de Buena Esperanza,' the galleon on which the first Filipinos landed at Morro Bay, Calif., loosely translates to 'The Big Ass Spanish Boat.' It actually translates to 'Our Lady of Good Peace.'" A Washington State College newspaper proves why one should alway, always fact-check a story.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (30 comments total)
First, it’s a college newspaper, not national, and it’s fucking hilarious, so none of the I-can-find-this-anywhere Newsfilter crap, please.

Second, my actual comment: Metafilter has made interesting stories much more accessible to me… unfortunately, it bit me in the ass when I did a comic for my own college paper about the blonde women extinction story mentioned here earlier… only to have it revealed as a hoax the same day of printing.

Has anyone else fallen for too-good/bad/funny/insane/interesting-to-be-true stories from around these parts? And if so, were they anywhere near as bad as they were for these poor editors at the WSU Daily Evergreen?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:08 PM on October 8, 2002

Wow, that really is hilarious. First question: why would a (presumably) serious publication even use "big-ass" in a translation? It seems like that should have raised some red flags from the outset. Second question: why couldn't the writer just use babelfish?
posted by Gilbert at 6:19 PM on October 8, 2002

via Babelfish:

El Barco Grande Del Español Del Asno
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:23 PM on October 8, 2002

you should also alway, always spellcheck a front page post.
posted by donkeyschlong at 6:24 PM on October 8, 2002

They are even dumber looking to me when their correction was in error. Esperanza is HOPE not PEACE. Duh.
posted by mikojava at 6:26 PM on October 8, 2002

No kidding, mikojava. It looks like "Our Lady of Good Hope" to me, too.

It's funny, but it amazes me how no one in the paper could have caught that. Anyone with 2 years of basic H.S. spanish could at least tell that "Nuestra Senora de Buena Esperanza" does not translate to anything remotely like 'big-ass spanish boat'.
posted by puffin at 6:38 PM on October 8, 2002

I found the intro sentence of the correction pretty funny:

The Daily Evergreen would like to sincerely apologize for an injustice served to the Filipino-American, Spanish-speaking and Catholic communities on the front page of Thursday's Evergreen.

Whatever happened to "we would like to apologize to our readers". Hell, the readers (or should I say Daily-Evergreen-reading community) weren't apologized to at all.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:52 PM on October 8, 2002

... it amazes me how no one in the paper could have caught that.

They were probably too busy dealing with the parking delema

funny, the original article is still on their web site
posted by facapulco at 7:02 PM on October 8, 2002

Reads to me like some amusing placeholder copy that accidentally went to print. I will often put off looking up translations when I'm in the middle of a piece.

Explaining that they "plagiarized" from the wrong source doesn't help much, does it?
posted by damehex at 7:09 PM on October 8, 2002

More: A faculty member sent this letter/brief lecture to the editor.
posted by pitchblende at 7:11 PM on October 8, 2002

Rule Number One: When using information from an article on the web, please consider whether it might not be less than fully serious.
posted by moss at 7:23 PM on October 8, 2002

Looks like someone missed the point of the "plagiarised" webpage. I so hoped this would be just wacky student newspaper hijinks, but no it's a multi-tiered tragedy for the Evergreen. The lame research. The third grade reading level of the piece. The evident cluelessness of the editors. The hypersensitivity of some fuckwits. The craven response from the editors. And, on preview, the smart-arsery of faculty who shouldn't need to finger waggle over such a dumb mistake.
posted by stinglessbee at 7:24 PM on October 8, 2002

My favorite part is in the retraction, the description of the original page as "inaccurate".
posted by moss at 7:28 PM on October 8, 2002

This reminds me a lot of all the sites that quoted the Onion regarding Harry Potter turning kids to satanism (sadly, the original Onion article is not on their archives). I do, however, really like one phrase the finger-waggling professor turned, and think it may be worth appropriating:

MetaFilter: The junk 'n' stuff you find on the Web.
posted by yhbc at 7:32 PM on October 8, 2002

Here is the site they borrowed from. Kids today - how could anybody take it seriously, it has tips for celebrating Filipino American History Months like:

* Making Jack O' Lanterns out of Corned Beef and/or Spam.

*Sing Karaoke
Yeah, it has no relevance to history month but at least Filipinos will have a reason for indulging in Frank Sinatra songs in the month of October.
posted by agaffin at 7:53 PM on October 8, 2002

And of course, the Onion article picked up by the Beijing Evening News,
posted by eddydamascene at 7:59 PM on October 8, 2002

Dude, I applied to Evergreen. It's pretty commonly regarded as the biggest stoner school in the U.S. Hence...
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:16 PM on October 8, 2002

More outrage and self-flagellation.

Searched the web for "Nuestra Senora de Buena Esperanza". Results 1 - 10 of about 13. Search took 0.17 seconds.
Searched the web for "big ass spanish boat". Results 1 - 1 of 1. Search took 0.37 seconds

posted by stinglessbee at 8:33 PM on October 8, 2002

Makes me wonder whether the Evergreen editors understand English -- they don't seem to know what reproach means.
posted by dhartung at 9:33 PM on October 8, 2002

Come on, we gotta credit Romenesko on this, yes?
posted by GaelFC at 11:04 PM on October 8, 2002

RJR - This (The Daily Evergreen) is the student newspaper for Washington State University, not Evergreen State College.
posted by pitchblende at 11:04 PM on October 8, 2002

When they landed on American soil, the first Filipino-Americans served as role models for the present Filipino-American community.

Just think, before the Big Ass Spanish Boat landed the present Filipino-American community had no role models at all!
posted by mbt at 11:31 PM on October 8, 2002

dhartung: That does read a bit strangely. I would assume the editor was aiming for "beyond reproach," but threw in part of "above suspicion." Then again, GoogleFight says that "above reproach" wins over "beyond reproach." Perhaps "above reproach" has become an accepted idiom?
posted by Galvatron at 11:40 PM on October 8, 2002

I think the editors just believe people are basically good.
posted by taz at 11:53 PM on October 8, 2002

Christ. I don't know a word of Spanish, yet even I could translate that as "Our Lady of Good Hope". If you know a smattering of more than one European language, you've got the basic vocabularly of most of the others.
posted by salmacis at 1:01 AM on October 9, 2002

From a review of the movie Scratch:

DJ Qbert, regraded as one of the best in the world, is described by someone else as being one of the few role models that Filipino-Americans have. There aren't any Filipino actors or athletes; "we have our parents, and we have Qbert," the man says.
posted by argybarg at 9:12 AM on October 9, 2002

No Filipino athletes? I guess the reviewer hasn't heard of the best basketball team name of all time. Go Hotdogs!

And this line in the Evergreen article made me cringe: The Filipinos who traveled on the boat served as crewmen/navigators/slaves. This reads as clumsy/flip/lazy.
posted by kurumi at 10:18 AM on October 9, 2002

More background (via Fark), and an overview on PinoyLife.com, where it all started.

I love the editorial that reads like a string of taglines.
Flubfilter: Caesar's wife.
Flubfilter: Some embarrassing and shameful episodes.
Flubfilter: Not truly at the top of our form.
Flubfilter: Mistakes were made. Feelings were hurt. Groups were insulted.
Flubfilter: Egg on our faces and sorrow in our hearts.
Flubfilter: Just apologize, simply and wholly.
Flubfilter: Keep your trust.
Flubfilter: Credibility.
Flubfilter: Nothing but hurt.
Flubfilter: That said, we vow to do right.
Flubfilter: We can improve.
Flubfilter: Diligent in the future.

posted by stinglessbee at 1:32 PM on October 9, 2002

wow. october is filipino history month?
when the hell did that happen?

i must have missed the annoucement in our monthy newsletter, "la fiesta in los pantalones de nos madres."

oh if you can't speak spanish, that translates to: "the voices of truth."
posted by ronv at 2:03 PM on October 9, 2002

I heard that psychadelic mushrooms grow naturally on the campus there. people just pick them off the ground and trees and shroom away. This from someone who went there.
posted by mikojava at 2:40 PM on October 9, 2002

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