Click the picture to go to

Friday, December 9, 2011


Here's an illogical translation/word choice problem from a former colleague, writing for the New York Times:
  • Meanwhile, high-rises in inland areas are faring well, Mr. Yoshizaki said. “Land is scarce, and building up is inevitable here in Japan.” 
"Inevitable?" I don't think so. Something is inevitable if it has to happen, such as the change of seasons, death, or a financial crisis resulting from too much debt. There are laws of physics, biology, and economics that make these things inevitable.

However, high-rise buildings don't have to exist. Building them is a conscious choice made by land developers to achieve a goal (high population density), so the correct word is "necessary."

Please use English well!