Ask and ye shall receive


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A freelance writer in Thailand emailed a resort that he was writing a story about. Unsure of how to get to there, the writer asked for the resort’s location. “Where on earth is it?” were his exact words. The reply came back as follows:

Dear [Mr Writer],

Herewith location on earth as follows:

Latitude = 8º 76' 37.25" N
Longitude = 96º 09' 01.43" E

Best regards,

[Miss Resort]

You can’t make this stuff up. It happened today. Anyone else experienced a literal miscommunication?

(Names and longitude and latitude have been changed.)

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14 thoughts on “Ask and ye shall receive

  1. Guess neither of you have heard of Google Earth?

    You dissed an incredibly astute Thai lady, who provided the exact information requested. Almost never happens in my 10 years in Thailand.

  2. Yes, Doug, we have all heard of Google Earth. However, when you ask someone where their place is, do you honestly expect to receive longitude and latitude coordinates?

    "Hey, Doug, come round to my place tonight for beer. Where do I live? Latitude = 8º 76′ 37.25″ N. Longitude = 96º 09′ 01.43″ E."

    Doesn't strike you as odd?

  3. The girl obviously not as ditsy as a call I received from a PR person for an American brand of sports shoes.

    OK before I begin, in Thailand here we use the European size for shoes. A VERY common understanding.

    PR: We would like you to test our new line of running shoes.

    Me: My editor would like to test them. Do you have men's shoes also?

    PR: Yes we do. What is your editor's shoe size?

    Me: 44 and a half.

    PR: 44? I'm sorry. We only have shoes up to size 14.

  4. One of the most infamous miscommunications of all time came about in 1939. The Nazi Party were organising a lavish banquet for themselves. The night of the Party, Hitler's Chief of Staff phoned him and said " We should invite Roland". Unfortunately, due to a bad phone line, the message was misinterpreted and Hitler thought he said "We should invade Poland". And The rest is history.

  5. What's wrong with it, the answer contained exactly the information requested, and it was even usable. OK, it had a bit too much accuracy (arc seconds would have been enough), and the reference system was omitted (but nowadays WGS84 is the most widely used one anyway).

    It somehow reminds me of this old joke, only difference is that the answer wasn't unusable:

    An engineer and a physicist are in a hot-air balloon. After a few hours they lose track of where they are and descend to get directions. They yell to a jogger, "Hey, can you tell us where we're at?" After a few moments the jogger responds, "You're in a hot-air balloon." The engineer says, "You must be a mathematician." The jogger, shocked, responds, "yeah, how did you know I was a mathematician?" "Because, it took you far too long to come up with your answer, it was 100% correct, and it was completely useless."

  6. OK I give up. Maybe it's only funny if you know that the person asking the question didn't want longitude and latitude coordinates and that he didn't literally mean "where on earth is it?"

  7. Well, there are countless times when writers are given assignments to go to places they have not been before. I don't see why that is funny.

    The reason I found this funny was because when he said "where on earth" he didn't mean it literally. I must have missed the memo that said that Google Earth was now the norm.

  8. Its hilarious .. I'll be telling my dinner guests tonight. Astute girl or miscommunication? Either way its classic.

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