Food for thought by U Hla Min

Updated on March 15, 2019

  • Listening, evaluation and feedback are important for effective communication.
  • The salutations are context and culture dependent.
  • A visiting Professor from Germany wanted to be addressed as “Professor Doctor”.
  • Saya Allen Htay told us that he could not use “Mr” during his stay in Netherlands. He was asked to use “Ingr” (based on his profession).
  • Grapevine says that the early surgeons in the UK were not necessarily doctors, and so they did not force people to address them as Dr.
  • Some overuse the “Like” button in Facebook. It is puzzling to see many Likes in an Obituary posting.
  • One should be aware of “opt-in” versus “opt-out” options.
  • Malicious software industry is responsible for losses (in down time, data corruption, identity theft, …) in the billions. The penalty of offenders is “peanuts” compared to drug dealers in most countries.
  • “To err is human. To forgive divine.” I like another version. “To err is human. To really goof, use a computer.”
  • I have made intentional and unintentional errors. Thanks to my colleagues, friends and readers for catching and correcting them.
  • Word processors also introduce some errors by correcting legal Burmese words and names. e.g. “Nwe” becomes “New” when auto-corrected. A work around is to add such words to a private dictionary for use by the word processor.
  • Without analysis of context, a program cannot decide whether you meant “goal” (objective) or “gaol” (alternative spelling for jail).
  • Inconsistencies are not easy to detect. For example, if I write about Saya U Shwe Hlaing for two posts : “Names — Shwe” and “Names — Hlaing”, the contents may not be exactly the same. I use FB for convenience (e.g. getting rapid feedback), but it is not designed for cross-referencing posts.
  • When I am not sure about an alumnus’s year of graduation or discipline, I use X for “unknown or unsure”. Most of the time, I get corrected by the readers.
  • There is no “hard and fast” rule for including or excluding names in my posts. The coverage may not be uniform for the names mentioned. My posts are not complete for “Who’s who in Burma and Myanmar?”
  • I am not consistent in tagging friends in my posts.

U Khin Maung Zaw (EC76) wrote :

One of the issues with Burmese names, is that there are more than one way to spell it in English, like Tun vs Htun. We used to have two ထြန္းေအာင္ေက်ာ္ (I left U/Ko on purpose of clarity not for the lack of respect), one of them spell his name Tun Aung Gyaw, the other Htun Aung Kyaw. Hence they are been distinguished as TAG and HAK.

I used to have a god-grandmother here in US in the early days – she passed some years back, may her soul RIP. We, myself and U Min Maung (EP68), jokingly told her to make sure she spelled our name MAUNG in her will. Khin Mg Zaw may not be the same as Khin Maung Zaw in legalese.

Categories: Notes

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