Council's English as good as its geography

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2000, 12:00am

Remember our geographically challenged friends at the Hong Kong Productivity Council? The ones who charged a group of members HK$19,000 apiece for an excursion to a conference in Washington DC . . . then found out too late it was actually being held in Seattle, Washington? When Lai See last spoke to them, the productivity people told us they planned to appease the disgruntled globe-trotters by offering them free attendance at future council seminars.

One of these is slated for June 1. We've just seen the enrolment form.

It offers potential attendees the chance to learn the secret of writing 'a detail (sic) and quality business report'.

When it comes to making policy decisions, business reports play a key role in 'these process (sic) of consideration'.

Under 'Contents', organisers promise to teach participants: 'Grammar Used in a Report'. You will also 'improve and upgrade your English standard'.

The name of the seminar is: 'Writing Your Business Report in Quality'.

We don't know exactly where 'Quality' is located.

Probably somewhere near Washington.

We see the Australian Chamber of Commerce is playing host to a 'Melbourne Property Display'.

It starts today.

Reader Dennis Talbot just passed along some of their ad literature.

It shows a happy couple standing on a balcony beaming at a perfect Australian sky.

The pamphlet tempts property-hunters with an offer of: 'Complimentary report on the Sydney Residential Market, Complimentary report on the Melbourne Apartment Market, Complimentary Investment graphs showing the performance of ALL Australia's cities.' Mr Talbot wasn't impressed. 'Complimentary reports?' he mused. 'Well, they would be wouldn't they?' At last, truth in advertising.

A fish has been netted in the Prince's Building.

The sea creature in question will represent the place once known as Bentley's, long-time haunt of colonial types and money men.

Of course, that was before it changed hands.

The food and watering hole is now the domain of the Hong Kong Cricket Club.

The-place-formerly-known-as-Bentley's will remain a seafood restaurant. But they've changed the name.

It wasn't easy.

Meetings have been held, votes tallied, and professional publicists consulted.

The result: 'Dot.Cod'.


And no, the cricket lair has nothing to do with the net. They say they chose that name because it's 'short, topical and controversial'.

But it sounds to us like a case of dotcom fever taken too far.

Next they'll be renaming the steak-making Mandarin Grill 'Dot.Cow'.

These days, the Internet is a matter of life and death.

Well. It is if you live in Singapore, anyway.

Death just went dotcom over there.

Now absent-minded mourners can arrange to have reminders pop up in their e-mail boxes, alerting them to the anniversary of a loved one's demise.

And for the busy bereaved, columbarium niches (the holes that house the ashes of the cremated) can be booked on-line.

There are 80,000 spots up for grabs, including swanky 'penthouse' niches for the discerning deceased.

Those cost S$10,000 (about HK$45,283).

It's all thanks to Ji Le Memorial Park, Singapore's newest and most Internet-friendly resting place. It opens its doors to the dead in July next year.

They only began advertising a couple of weeks ago, but 2,000 people have registered already.

Guess that's what you call an Internet niche market.