I am a Jelly Doughnut

I am a Jelly Doughnut — John F. Kennedy

Words can have Multiple Meanings

I am a Jelly Doughnut
I am a Jelly Doughnut John F. Kennedy

 

Transcribe carefully!!

Legend has it that President Kennedy uttered those words in German on June 26, 1963, while visiting Berlin.  He had traveled there to reassure the beleaguered citizens that the East Germans and Russians would not prevail in their blockade of the free sector of Berlin.  The story, although false, serves as a remarkable lesson to stenographers.

Those who believe the story correctly point out that the phrase “Ich bin Berliner” translates as “I am a Berliner.”  President Kennedy was not.  President Kennedy did not intend to say that.  He did not want to say that.  His German translator did not supply those words to him because that would be foolish.  He was not a citizen of Berlin.  His translator coached him to say the correct phrase, and President Kennedy used the correct phrase.

Those who believe the story correctly point out that the phrase “Ich bin ein Berliner” translates as “I am a jelly doughnut.”  President Kennedy certainly was not a jelly doughnut, and he certainly did not intend to imply that he was.  Nevertheless,  President Kennedy did utter the phrase “Ich bin ein Berliner.”  His critics point out that “ein Berliner” is the common name for a type of jelly doughnut.

If he did not mean that he was a jelly doughnut, why did he say that phrase?

He said it because while that phrase does truly mean “I am a jelly doughnut,” it also roughly, but correctly, translates as “I am one with the citizens of Berlin.”  That was his intent.  That is what he meant.  That is what he said.  His translator was correct.  He was correct.  The legend, and those who perpetuate it, are massively incorrect.

Consider this:  If I were to say that I have butterflies in my stomach, would you believe that there were insects in my body?  If I were to say that I ate a hamburger, would you believe that I ate a citizen of Hamburg?  If I were to say that my ears are burning, would you believe that they were on fire?  If I were to say that I was a New Yorker, would you believe that I was a luxury automobile?

Translate your work correctly.  Capitalize words such as “state,” “court,” or “prosecution” when they should be capped.  Punctuate your sentences properly.  Use the proper soundalike.  Learn the difference between such words as “anymore” and “any more.”

People will be reading your transcripts.  Some of those people will grasp at any straw to help their case.  Do not allow them to besmirch your reputation.  President Kennedy was 100% correct, and still the nattering nabobs chose to unfairly attack him.  Be correct.  Otherwise, you will be eating crow.

And that tastes awful, even if it is fried, baked or fricasseed.

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