You think LOAD DATA is smarter than it really is.
Don't assume that LOAD DATA knows anything at all about the format of your datafile. And make sure you yourself know what its format is. If the file has been transferred from one machine to another, its contents may have been changed in subtle ways of which you're not aware.
Many LOAD DATA frustrations occur because people expect MySQL to know things that it cannot possibly know. LOAD DATA makes certain assumptions about the structure of input files, represented as the default settings for the line and field terminators, and for the quote and escape character settings. If your input doesn't match those assumptions, you need to tell MySQL about it.
When in doubt, check the contents of your datafile using a hex dump program or other utility that displays a visible representation of whitespace characters like tab, carriage return, and linefeed. Under Unix, the od program can display file contents in a variety of formats. If you don't have od or some comparable utility, the transfer directory of the recipes distribution contains hex dumpers written in Perl and Python (hexdump.pl and hexdump.py), as well as a couple of programs that display printable representations of all characters of a file (see.pl and see.py). You may find them useful for examining files to see what they really contain. In some cases, you may be surprised to discover that a file's contents are different than you think. This is in fact quite likely if the file has been transferred from one machine to another:
Using the mysql Client Program
Writing MySQL-Based Programs
Record Selection Techniques
Working with Strings
Working with Dates and Times
Sorting Query Results
Modifying Tables with ALTER TABLE
Obtaining and Using Metadata
Importing and Exporting Data
Generating and Using Sequences
Using Multiple Tables
Introduction to MySQL on the Web
Incorporating Query Resultsinto Web Pages
Processing Web Input with MySQL
Using MySQL-Based Web Session Management
Appendix A. Obtaining MySQL Software
Appendix B. JSP and Tomcat Primer
Appendix C. References