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Written by

Andrew Millar

Date

November 11, 2008

I want to go back to school. It’s a common theme in The Bleat. And I’ve broached it several times because my school was never like the ones my children attend. Amongst other things kids get the opportunity to travel these days. Serious travel. Overseas travel. Out of this city travel. For example, my daughter has just returned from three weeks living with a family in Japan and all I got to do is visit at school was Outer Harbour.

Not Japan… Not France… Not (almost) Spain…

I don’t begrudge it. It’s a great opportunity for her to further her study of the language. And she bought me back some neat stuff – a book on Sushi, some Japanese newspapers (for the ads) some cool pajamas and a packet of ‘Spash’ chewing gum. Yes, Spash… not Splash… And Spash is another great example of Engrish… the mangled English used by the Japanese. (See a Bleat entry sometime in January 2008) We were both taken by the television commercial for Spash which showed someone getting a bucket of water tipped over them for no apparent reason…

She also brought back other fine examples of Engrish signage…

For example, the family she stayed with near Kyoto owned 7 Dachshunds. And the dogs names were Sid and Nancy, Kurt and Courtney… do you see a pattern emerging here? Anyway, one dog wore a jacket emblazoned with…

‘God food? Hear that says well.’

Hum… she also photographed several signs. One proudly proclaimed…

‘Please drink water to avoid heat.’

You sort of know were that one is heading but a tee shirt that screams…

‘Fu*k the rock’ you have to think about for a while.

A sign that proclaims ‘I look up at the sky occasionally’ is, at best, stating the obvious. And a sweat shirt that states ‘You are extra ordinary!‘ probably defeats the whole purpose of the proclamation.

But the biggest word anagram of them all was a sign in the ‘Lion D’or The Supermarket’ carpark. It read…

‘to a visitor for parking lot profit Refrain from no warning parking. Because I can’t bear one responsibility about theft an accident in a parkinglot, approve it.’

I think there is a message in that for all of us, don’t you?…

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