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TopFive.com
The Ongoing Saga of the
Chinese Movie Title List

Our story begins...

Way back in August of 1997, Top5 did a list of
The Top 15 Chinese Translations of English Movie Titles.

Sometime later, an unknown denizen of cyberspace stripped the credits from that list and attached it to the bottom of a legitimate Wall Street Journal article on poorly-translated movie titles, and tossed it back into the cyber-sea.

Then, in November of 1998, after having seen a copy of the modified WSJ article, those little scamps at the New York Times used nine items from our list as *actual* examples of "Cantonese" movie titles in an article they published.

That's when, as the saying goes, the shit hit the fan.

Top5 continues to reap the benefits of The Times' screwup, receiving buttloads of free publicity from the inevitable retractions. And just when things started to calm down, our list resurfaced again -- this time, one of our items was reported as fact on ABC World News with Peter Jennings.


Here's the sequence of events:


8/25/97: Top5 publishes the Chinese Translations of English Movie Titles list.
4/14/98: Someone attaches our list to a Wall Street Journal article.
11/15/98: The NY Times article is published.
Nov/Dec 98: Top5 is besieged by the media!
12/4/98: The Times publishes a correction.
1/5/99: An item from the list is reported as factual by Peter Jennings on ABC World News Tonight.
1/18/99: ABC News and Peter Jennings cough up a correction.
4/15/99: Several items from the list are read on CNN's Showbiz Today as factual.
5/18/99: Several items from the list are used by author Christopher Buckley during a lecture at at the Smithsonian.
5/24/99: An item from the list is used as a clue on Jeopardy!.
6/10/99: An item from the list is reported as factual in the Los Angeles Times.
Well, as Mr. Jennings himself would say,
we'll keep you posted on further developments in this story...
Top5 Bomb

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