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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning readers to the non-standard language edition of Postmortem's Daily Goodbye.

I can only imagine what a non-Nordic copyeditor thought when coming across Svein Gilje's byline for the first time. Mr. Gilje, a Seattle Times reporter who spoke and read French, German, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish, as well as English, was founding president of Seattle's Nordic Heritage Museum, the first of its kind in North America to highlight the heritage of immigrants from the five Nordic countries -- Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

Another man who made his living from language Alan Dary, a Boston radio host, tried to dislodge any Boston accents from his family's speech. Too bad; we like regional quirks. As did Stanley Ellis, an expert on English dialects, the first person to provide expert evidence for speaker identification in an English court.

Former Thai prime minister Samak Sundaravej, who was forced from office after accepting payments for appearing on cooking shows, has died of liver cancer.

Can someone explain to me why the Guardian newspaper printed an obit in Chinese? (Maybe you recognize the photo?) ... Update: He's Yang Xianyi, distinguished translator of Chinese classics who was jailed during the Cultural Revolution.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  November 24, 2009; 8:34 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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