Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Page vs sheet

What is the difference between a sheet and a page?
Well, this seems basic enough for my son to know, but apparently it is not so.

During my morning paper last Saturday, the head of invigilator was reading out the rules and regulations of the exam to us and then proceeded to break the seal to the exam papers.
After we had obtained our papers, she said to count the number of pages and to make sure we have 16 pages and 60 questions.

We all counted and counted and counted - there were 32 pages. Really, almost 200 people cannot be wrong right?? But she still insist that there were 16 pages. So, (thinking that we ALL made a mistake) we counted again .... still 32 pages ler.

So there were gasps and people saying "WTF???" and then she realised it - It's actually 16 sheets of paper .... not pages ..... aiyo, like this also can be invigilator, so memalukan la. And to top it all, her English was poorly spoken, wrong grammar, wrong pronunciation, wrong tenses, just wrong. Horrible!

2 comments:

jlezcanokvd said...

Well, making mistakes between pages and sheets is a very common issue for non-native English speakers. I'm guessing she was probably from an Spanish speaking country, although this will be a common mistake in many languages, but I'll refer to Spanish as it's my native language. I'm assuming you don't know too much about foreign languages, so I'll educate you a little bit. In Spanish the word page (página, literal translation) is used to refer to a sheet of paper. A sheet of paper in Spanish is: "una hoja de papel". Now the non-literal translation for the word "page" taking into account the context of your story will be: "cara de papel/página". I hope this helps you understand a little bit more the rest of the world. Regarding her bad pronunciation and other mistakes, just in case you didn't knew there are people in this world that are not English native speakers. There are many languages in the world and it is also hard for some people to learn/speak other languages. Although I won't deny the fact that she should be a little bit more professional and ask her colleagues to review her papers/exams before using them in public.

AM said...

The educator needs some educating:
In Spanish the word for "sheet" is "hoja" as in "hoja de papel". The word for "page" is indeed "pagina" (one of the two sides of a sheet). In Spanish, as in English and perhaps many other languages this mistake is common. This mistake -in Spanish- is even more common among Spanish speakers born and raised here in the USA because of the lack of academic Spanish, since the language was most likely learned only at home colloquially.