you didnít think, did you, that Iíd ignore this funny line from a
brochure for an Italian hotel on the back page of the previous issue?
hotel is renowned for its peace and solitude. In fact, crowds from all
over the world flock here to enjoy its solitude.
too, are a wonderful source of humour. Alas, theyíre only occasionally
deliberate, and much more likely to be unintentional, as the above
example and Bikwilís series Spellbound show. Today we have
a look at both types.
deliberate ones, many are graffiti and to a lot of people quite
objectionable, so I thought you might like to smile at some of the rare
shoe store window:]
Give You a Fit and Serve You Right
a Sydney chemist shop in a building being renovated:]
a San Antonio Food Store:]
Will Be Beaten, Stabbed and Stomped. Survivors Will Be Prosecuted.
slogan on a wall calling for the release from gaol of Norman Gallagher
(a notorious Melbourne union leader in the 70s and 80s) and reading
the unconscious errors in signs that give us the most fun, and none more
so than those composed by people in foreign lands who are insufficiently
versed in English ó which is where Pink Shell-like at last comes
know, by the way, what they call such usage? Youíve heard of Franglais,
of course; well, now meet Engrish ó presumably so called after
the Japanese difficulty with the English ďlĒ.
before I get on to Engrish, I should quickly mention advertising humour.
Youíre all familiar with examples of such phenomena so you need little
reminding of them here. Except, maybe, for some classified ads that I
picked from various places around the Internet:
by owner, Encyclopedia Britannica, excellent condition. No longer
needed. Husband knows everything.
bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops!
Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
Write today for help.
digression before the foreign inadvertences Iím keeping you from ó
unintentional funny signs from English-speaking countries:
and Get Gas
kill your wife. Let our washing machine do the dirty work.
person who took the step ladder yesterday bring it back, or further
steps will be taken.
Manager Has Personally Passed All the Water Served Here
Are Requested Not to Have Children in the Bar
is Being Fixed for the Next Day. During That Time we Regret that You
Will Be Unbearable.
of the Impropriety of Entertaining Guests of the Opposite Sex in the
Bedroom, It Is Suggested that the Lobby Be Used for This Purpose
of Fire, Do Your Utmost to Alarm the Hotel Porter
Your Bags and Send Them in All Directions
ticket office, Copenhagen]
Your Trousers Here for the Best Results
Do Not Spit Too Loud
Take Care of the Sleeping Grass
Are Requested Not to Smoke or Do Other Disgusting Behaviours in Bed
hotelís rules and regulations]
Passenger of Foot Heave in Sight, Tootle the Horn. Trumpet Him
Melodiously at First, but if He Still Obstacles Your Passage Then Tootle
Him with Vigor.
training brochure for foreigners, Tokyo]