What 'Made in USA' used to mean

Soon after arriving in a South American country to work in 1978, after some years in South Asia, I was talking with a local mechanic about a used car I was trying to get fixed.  The fact that it was a Chevy seemed to excite the mechanic, and he commented on the vehicle's overall quality by saying it was "mah-dey en oo-saw."  When I responded that I had no idea what he had just said, he looked at me with absolute perplexity and said in Spanish, "You are a Yankee.  You should know what 'mah-dey en oo-saw' means!"  It finally dawned on me that he was transliterating "made in USA," pronouncing the English words with Spanish sounds rather than translating them, which would have been "Fabricado en Estados Unidos de América," something I would have caught immediately. It used to be that "mah-dey en oo-saw" had all kinds of local pronunciations around the world, and they all...(Read Full Post)
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