Whenever you're dealing with words from a language that's foreign to you, you have to be overly cautious.
I can't count the number of times I've made my family in Albania crack up with laughter or gasp in horror when I mispronounced a word. The same goes for my wife's family in Egypt. Did you know that a slightly harder "m" sound is the only thing that separates the words "bathroom" and "pigeon" in Arabic? Well, now you do.
It's one thing to have a foreign language error among friends or family, but it's another thing entirely when you're, let's say, on broadcast television airing out your mistake to millions of viewers. Couple that with the fact that everyone and their mother has a camera on their phones these days and whenever you make a cringeworthy mistake on-air, well, you're pretty much making it to everyone on the internet, as well.
Something that Chicago's ABC News Affiliate, LS-CH. 7 learned the hard way when they made this embarrassing grammatical blunder on live TV.
Yes, that's right, a TV station confused PyeongChang, the host city of this year's Winter Olympics, located in South Korea, with the American-Asian fast casual dining chain, P.F. Chang's.
To be clear, this is what's probably going on in a P.F. Chang's right now.
And this is what's been happening in PyeongChan.
The news station attributed the mix-up to a graphical error, saying that the P.F. Chang image was intended for a satirical piece, but there are a few things wrong with this excuse.
The first being that it just shows gross incompetence on the staff and their station, which is just a bad look. The second is that, let's say it is for a satirical piece, then it's for a lazy laugh, isn't it? I mean, P.F. Chang's is billed as a "China" bistro, not Korean, and the restaurant was founded in Arizona of all places. If it's part of a satirical piece, that's kinda whack, unless they're making fun of the kind of person who would find that funny in the first place? I just don't get it.
Whatever the reason for the mix-up, the news station is getting mercilessly roasted for the mistake.
A news network called the Olympic host city P.F. Chang’s? Jesus take the wheel 😂😂— A Girl Has No Name (@_R0yAL_Tee) February 13, 2018
Last time I went to PF Chang's, I thought it was pretty good. But I never thought to myself "These guys need to host the Olympics."— David Wade (@davidwade) February 13, 2018
It was causing so much of a kerfuffle that P.F. Chang's even chimed in on Twitter, clarifying that they were in fact, not hosting the Winter Olympic Games. You know, in case anyone was confused.
The Chicago Tribune went a little more in-depth about the satirical piece in question, and a lot of people shared the same reservation about the "P.F. Chang's" joke: it's pretty racist.
Jesus. For a different "Satirical" piece? I can't think of any situation in which calling the capital of South Korea by an American Chinese food chain restaurant is funny.— Anna Funk (@annafunk) February 13, 2018
People wanted to know just what kind of satirical piece this joke was going to get used for.
I mean, I love offensive jokes, I'm an ethnically European-Muslim and get good-naturedly trashed on by my friends all the time; so witty jibes that incorporate my ethnic or religious background don't bother me. But when a news channel is resorting to some low-level, bottom-barrel, lazy racist "humor" like this, it's just offensive.
I'm not the only one who thinks so, either.
(P.F. Chang's isn't Korean, though, so it just falls into the "all Asians look alike" trope.)— Jen Mac Ace Neptune Ramos (@jenmacramos) February 13, 2018
Yeah—it just seems more like a lazy joke to me, if anything. (I, unfortunately, have most of this in the forefront of my mind as a SE Asian whose culture is nowhere near East Asian cultures.)— Jen Mac Ace Neptune Ramos (@jenmacramos) February 13, 2018
It's like making a Chipotle reference if the Olympic games were being held in Cuba. Just plain awful.