Reuters on “Kiss and Ride”

Kiss and Ride sign at HSR Hsinchu StationMy post about the "Kiss and Ride" signs at the High Speed Rail stations has attracted a lot of attention. The signs have just been the subject of a Reuters article and will no doubt be reprinted in newspapers around the world over the next couple of days. The article mentions this blog and also includes a quote from Dan Bloom. 

"The English words 'kiss and ride' are a mystery to local people," said Danny Bloom, a U.S.-born English teacher in the Chiayi, which is on the train's route. "It implies that this is a place to kiss and then ride somewhere, but public kissing at train stations in Taiwan is a rarity."

As I mentioned in an earlier post the term is not a peculiar Taiwanese translation of English, but originated in the USA. 

24 thoughts on “Reuters on “Kiss and Ride”

  1. I like the new domain name. Much easier to remember than…. oh! I can’t even remember how the old url started.

    And good to see the most important page of the website is still there!!!

  2. Very interesting…
    Really like your write ups about Taiwan…I think I have mentioned this before in a comment…as an expat in Japan, it is wonderful to meet a blogger who is keeping us in the know about the interesting details going down over there….thanks

  3. Michael:

    glad to see your site is repaired. I had meant to link to your betelnut beauty page on my recent post about them. I’ve made the necessary update.

  4. Is ‘kiss and ride’ an Australian or American thing? I certainly haven’t seen it anywhere in the UK. I also object using it in Taiwan — it just doesn’t fit in the culture, there is no point using it especially if it confuses foreigners other than Anglo-Saxons. Nothing wrong with ‘drop off & pick up area’. And while we’re on the subject, it’d be nice to convert ‘freeway’ signs to ‘highway’ signs in Taiwan too. Think of the audience of your signs! (i.e. anyone who doesn’t read Chinese, not just Americans!)

  5. I mentioned in the original post that the term is used in North America. I am an Australian and I must admit I thought it was very weird when I first saw it. I can’t say I “object” to it. I just think it is a little strange and will no doubt confuse some people.

  6. The news story has gone to YAHOO NEWS too, and has been posted on lots of blogs around the world. The Chinese language newspaper THE LIBERTY TIMES is planning to write a story on this with a photo, too, so that local Taiwanese readers can see what the fuss is all about. It might appear in the LT on Wednesday or later in the week. I will post a link here when it comes out. Hopefully, the reporter doing the story will interview many locals to find our their feelings about this SIGN. And if the Liberty Times is doing a story, the APPLE DAILY cannot be far behind. And then TV news shows will show the sign and interview passersby and then Jacky Wu will do a comedy skit about this. Watch!

  7. Congrats on starting a media uproar. I’d have to say though having lived for several years in California and Colorado that I’ve never seen “Kiss and Ride” in all my years of riding public transportation. As someone has no doubt mentioned to you by now, if it is an American thing, it’s probably a very regional one.

  8. I live in the US and have never seen “Kiss and Ride”. Normally such places are refered to as “Park and Ride”. I think someone made a mistake in the translation.

  9. Today in Belgium, the “Metro”, a journal distributed for free, publish a story “”Kiss and ride” is confusing Taiwan” (with picture). At the end one can find the URL of this blog.

  10. Author: Prince Roy
    [This is definitely an American expression. I think it’s the DC Metro area that uses the term ‘kiss and ride’.]

    No, Prince R, it is also used in Europe in Germany. Google and look. Maybe began in US, but now global. Look at images in those links above. Or google “kiss and ride” under GOOGLE IMAGES and see. 100s of pics…

  11. The first place I saw “Kiss and Ride” signs were on the Washington, DC METRA system about 12 years ago. I don’t recall seeing them elsewhere in the US.

  12. Very interesting. “Kiss and Ride” signs can be found in many places
    even in Japan too and confuse Japanese as well. 😛

    I suppose that no Japanese do like that sign says. But I like it.

    — Hidetoshi Abe, Tokyo

  13. Pingback: David on Formosa » Kiss and ride: news and comments

  14. Pingback: David on Formosa » Taiwanese media covers kiss and ride

  15. Hi David,

    The \”kiss\” theme has been around for a long time in Taiwan. Remember for years, one of the most popular bumper stickers here has been: \”no kiss\”

    (I know a bit different meaning than a lovers kiss…)

    Kiss and Ride is a bit quarky even for Taiwan. The problem is there is so much broken English here, it difficult to tell if its suppose to be funny/cool or if its just a dumb mistake.

    Speaking about signs, one of my pet peeves here in Taipei is that the numbskulls that are in charge of the subway had to make it difficult for people to ask about this form of transportation.

    What I mean is that in Hong Kong all the subway exits and the company logo have the large letters \”MTR\” on them. If you say MTR in Hong Kong everyone knows you are talking about the subway even if you don\’t speak Cantonese or Mandarin.

    In Taipei, they just went with Prince type logo. So instead of making it easy to ask a taxi driver to drop you off at the MTR (or MRT), you have to say in Chinese \”J-yuan zan\”. (which many people like tourists or biz travelers would never know or pronounce exactly right).

    In Taiwan, people pick up quickly on the western abbreviations such as DIY or BBcall, BBQ or whatever. MRT should have become part of the daily lingo, but the subway admin are just too boneheaded to see the value. (I wrote a letter to the paper about this a few years ago).

    Its funny that your kiss and ride is getting so much attention. I am glad for you because, you know, even though its trivial, it\’s cool to get people talking about something you though was funny. I only wish someone would focus on the subway issue that I mentioned above. I think it would be much more helpful in the big scheme of things – imho.

    cheers – marc

    P.S. Another problem with the Taipei Metro subway is if you call it the “subway” most people think you are talking about Subway sandwiches.

  16. Marc, you make an interesting point about the MRT. I had never thought about it like that before.

    I think on the one hand Taiwanese people are quite conservative about language and wish to use the standard or formal words. At the same time the language is being invaded by all sorts of non-standard slang and borrowings and adaptations from English.

    It wouldn’t take much for MRT to come into popular use if the MRT were determined enough. They would only need a few TV stars to regularly use the word or a popular singer to include it in the lyrics of their next hit!

  17. David Reid is a common name, especially when you take the various spellings of Reid into account. Still, I am surprised there is another one in Taiwan that is also a blogger!!!!

    Thanks for the link!

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