For instance, researching a small translation assignment I took on this week led to one of the most remarkable websites I've visited in a while: www.bullsemen.com.
The translation in question comes from the agricultural sector, so--rest assured--my reason for being there was completely legitimate.
You see, cattle breeding not being one of my areas of expertise ('it's not my field' as we academics are fond of saying), it's helpful sometimes to get a sense of the kind of wording and syntax common to the sort of text you're working on.
And this was indeed a fascinating journey into a world I had scarcely considered before.
The site, we are informed, is 'a new online facility for the ordering and purchase of bull semen for dairy and beef cattle from world-renowned, international genetic breeding organisations.'
Which is, you know, absolutely understandable.
I mean, I eat meat (if rarely), drink milk and eat cheese (in large quantities).
I am aware that to have these things we need cows (or goats...but I haven't checked for www.goatsemen.com yet). And I know--at least theoretically--how baby cows get made.
So, I recognise that this is a serious and necessary business and I wish them well.
Still, I find the site to be some of the best entertainment you can find on these here internets.
Just check out that great logo! Or the photo of the call centre associate with her come-hither stare juxtaposed with text like 'Bullsemen.com: Great bulls at fair prices'.
Or even the the brochure in .pdf format with the stirring slogan, 'Start The New Year With Bullsemen.com'.
I mean...how can you argue with that?
And if you click on, say, 'Holsteins' under 'Order semen', you are offered a remarkable selection of...well, semen, that you could comfortably order from where you're sitting right now. (It comes, apparently, in 'straws', which is a nomenclature I admit I've not yet developed the courage to investigate.)
The photos, the more observant of you will notice, are from the females that said seed has been selected to produce rather than of the prize sires themselves.
And the profiles of the...donors?...are linguistically fascinating constructions in themselves. Fortunately, my client didn't need anything nearly this detailed.
Consider, if you will, the following descriptions of....
Upstanding daughters exhibit strength and width in bodies which support near perfect udders. A very steep foot angle and ideal rump setting have added to this bull’s popularity.
Jurus is from an outstanding cow family. His dam was a VG Essentation and the next dam was the EX 92 Finabell - by Ugela Bell. Jurus has the longevity and milk from his sire but combines this with good components from his cow family. He produces medium sized dairy cows, that have excellent udders and very good feet and legs (1.27).
...or, my favourite, 'Satire':
This Addison son produces daughters with tremendous production from awesome udders. His dam is G.G. Patron Satin who has milk production records of over 18000 kg’s. She is scored Ex93 for confirmation with an excellent mammary system. Satire scores very well for feet and legs with good bone quality and steep foot angle.
And what red-blooded male can resist, I might say, the combination of an 'excellent mammary system' and 'steep foot angle' (let alone the 'awesome udders')?
I thought so.
(Image: 'Friesian Holstein', via Wikimedia Commons)