After Presidential Decree, Roy Jones Obliged To Learn Russian

“You said WHAT?”

Okay, that headline was misleading, I admit it.  I am a huge fan of pulp tabloids which suck you in with headlines which are misleading but not technically false.  My personal favorite is some Russian tabloid from a few years back, and I am so sorry that I have forgotten and can’t find the link – I think it was PRAVDA.ru, but I’m not sure… Anyhow they had a brilliant headline “Americans Admit They Were Never On the Moon“.  So you click eagerly, thinking, “Wow!  Was the moon-shot faked after all?”  And then come to find that this is a tourist-travel piece.  Author visited some planetarium somewhere in the U.S., they were doing a presentation on the moon landing.  The “reporter” walked around, asking other people:  “Have you ever personally been to the moon?”  To which they all replied, “No.”  And that was how he got his headline.  The content of the actual article was just about the planetarium.

So anyhow, the big celebrity news over the weekend was that Roy Jones Jr. received his Russian citizenship.  And according to this piece in Life News, Roy’s future looks very bright.  Roy’s Russian promoter, Vladimir Khrunov, reported that Roy already has offers to host a Russian TV show.  Roy will open a chain of boxing studios and help to train young Russian boxers in his unique technique.  According to Khrunov, Roy was so happy when he heard about his Russian citizenship, that he actually broke down and wept.

When asked if Roy would learn Russian, Khrunov replied, Of course he will.  Since Roy is Russian now, he will most certainly learn the language.

The LifeNews piece starts with this poorly-formed sentence:

Боксер Рой Джонс-младший, получивший гражданство РФ в субботу, 12 сентября, после специального указа президента России, обязательно выучит русский язык в течение года и уже имеет ряд предложений работать на российском ТВ ведущим.

Reading this, it occurred to me, that if I remove a single comma, and play a bit on the word “обязательно” (has several different meanings; could mean “obliged to”, or could mean, as in this case, “most certainly will”), then I could misleadingly translate as such:

“The boxer Roy Jones Jr., who received his Russian citizenship on Saturday, 12 September, after a special decree of the Russian President [remove comma here] is obliged to learn Russian in the course of one year and he already has a series of offers to work as a host on Russian TV shows.”

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