Friday, June 08, 2007

When "Chinglish" Becomes Standard English

One of the humorous phrases I hear a lot in Taiwan, China, and even Japan now is the phrase "cost down" used as a verb: "You must cost down this product every six months!", "We are working to cost down the end product!", and so on. The meaning is clear enough, it's just that Miss Sumrow would have failed me in sixth grade English if I had used it in a sentence.

But these days I sit in meetings between native American English speakers who are using it sentences. It is pretty much a standard English phrase in Silicon Valley these days. I wonder how long until it hits other industries and eventually Websters.

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