This was brought to my attention by Basketbawful reader Stephanie G and (I have since discovered) has been reported elsewhere (like here
). But I'm going to cover it again because it's so awesomely stupid that it absolutely must be included on any site that covers the best of the worst of professional basketball.
Back in the summer of 2003, Shawn Marion got a tattoo down his right leg in Chinese lettering that was supposedly a translation of his nickname "The Matrix." Only it wasn't. I mean, it really, really
wasn't. Hanzi Smatter
-- a site dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture -- noted that Shawn's tattoo really means, uh, something else
= Demon, evil spirits; magic power.鳥
= Camphor (a plant where its chemical exact is used for making moth balls).
That's right: Shawn Marion is
Demon Bird Mothballs. I suggest you sit down and let the awe wash over you in a cool wave.
That's a pretty big misfire. (Although not quite as bad as the chick who had "inferior goods" tramp-stamped on her lower back
.) Shawn probably should have consulted with somebody other than the dude at the tattoo parlor before inking his leg. According to Hanzi Smatter, The Matrix
(as in the movie) is translated as 黑客帝国
(which means "Hackers' Empire"). And matrix (in the mathematical sense) is translated as 矩陣
This hilarious mistranslation reminds me of the multicultrual heroes that appeared on the old Challenge of the Super Friends
cartoon. Apache Chief, El Dorado, Samuri...these not-so-super characters were created by simply mashing together a few awkward cultural stereotypes. As Seanbaby once pointed out
: "Now that I mention it, I don't think [Apache Chief] was Apache or a chief. His name doesn't make any damn sense. That's like putting a white guy on a team of Native Americans and naming him 'Minnesota President.'"
At least Shawn isn't alone. Marquis Daniels has a tattoo that means "Healthy Woman Roof." No, really
Oh, and if you think think America has a monopoly in cultrual ignorance, I suggest you check out Engrish
. Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension!Fun fact:
As the Hanzi Smatter pointed out, the tattoo also appears on his action figure
Labels: fan submissions, Marquis Daniels, Shawn Marion, tattoos, Worst Evers