Well, it looks like the Bush administration, masters of marketing that they are, have a problem of their own. Tim Dunlop has the details.
the U.S. Organization for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Aid (ORHA)
made its first TV broadcast to the Iraqi people Wednesday night, the new
channel used as its logo the eight-pointed star seen on many buildings
here. If ORHA's head of communication, Margaret Tutwieler, or her staff
had consulted with any Iraqis before adopting this logo, they'd have
known that the eight-pointed star is the symbol of....the Ba'ath Party.
Um, didn't they even suspect that a symbol found "on many buildings here" might be somehow connected to Saddam Hussein?
The incompetency of this administration doesn't stop there. See below from the NY Post!
"When the U.S. Organization for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Aid
(ORHA) made its first TV broadcast to the Iraqi people Wednesday night,
the new channel used as its logo the eight-pointed star seen on many
buildings here. If ORHA's head of communication, Margaret Tutwieler, or
her staff had consulted with any Iraqis before adopting this logo,
they'd have known that the eight-pointed star is the symbol of . . . the
Sorry to bring this up, Kevin, but the claim that the "Chevy Nova"
failed in Latin American countries because clueless GM marketers didn't
know that "no va" means "won't go" in Spanish and the claim that Coca
Cola was stupid enough to market the foul stuff in China under a name
that meant "bite the wax tadpole" are both urban myths. Details here and here.
Isn't the eight-pointed star a pretty universal Islamic symbol too? I think it's a common motif in mosques etc.
Then again, my vague recollection of documentaries may be misleading me here.
Well, OK, but if all the good stories turn out to be urban legends, what's the internet good for?
I'm not quite buying this, Kevin.
It might be the case, but the 1958-1963 Post-Monarchy, Pre-Baathist
regime used a flag with an eight-pointed star (www.fotw.org) but the
Baathist regime flew a flag with five pointed stars familiar to us today
(the Arabic for Allah Ahkbar was added in 1991). I mean... maybe
this is so, but I'm poking around the Baath Party website as best as I
can with my nonexistant Arabic and I don't see an 8-pointed star yet.
"Isn't the eight-pointed star a pretty universal Islamic symbol too? I think it's a common motif in mosques etc."
The star appears on mosques because mosques are usually decorated
with Quranic verses and abstract designs to prevent idolotry. The
crescent moon is the celestial-inspired symbol of Islam (which is why
the Muslim analog of the Red Cross is the Red Crescent).
Oops, though I had included this:
> "Ich bin ein Berliner" of course
> means "I am a doughnut"
Not precisely an urban legend, but misleading. A Berliner is the name
for both a sugary confection and a resident of Berlin. . .like, say, a
"Hamburger" sandwich or a "New Yorker" magazine.
Post 9/11, when it was said "We are all New Yorkers", nobody was
foolish enough to think we meant the magazine, right? We could tell from
context what was meant.
Well, same thing. Residents of Berlin refer to themselves as
Berliners, and I assure you, they do so with a bare minimum of
powdered-sugar based confusion.
you and Mr Isbell are both a bit wrong and a bit right.
A human Berliner would be likelier to say, 'Ich bin Berliner', not '...ein Berliner'. That's what the doughnut would say, if doughnuts could talk.
But it's not really a doughnut. It's a sort of jelly doughnut. Real
doughnuts, i.e., the kind with the hole, are not native to Germany. You
do see them sometimes these days. They are a conscious imitation of the
American original, though, and the German word for them is 'Doughnut'.
And they're not known as 'Berliner' everywhere. Depending on where
you are, you'll find them under names as diverse as Berliner, Kreppel,
Fasnetskiachle, Krapfen or Pfannkuchen. The latter, I believe, is what
the Berliners themselves use. That said, 'Berliner' would probably be
understood pretty much everywhere these days.
Poor old Kennedy wouldn't have been much better off, BTW, had he said
'Ich bin ein Amerikaner'. He'd have avoided being a jelly doughnut, but
he'd be a round glazed cake instead.