U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: the grammar of spam

Re: the grammar of spam

From: Richard Sullivan <richsul@earthlink.net>
Subject: RE: the grammar of spam
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2007 14:54:45 -0600

> A similar, though in some sense, a more excusable scrambling
> of English, were those warning labels on Asian electronic
> goods. The best ones were from the 1960's. I had an early
> 60's Sansui receiver with a warning label on the bottom.

Japanese products from 1950s and 70s generally came with very
poor users manuals in English. Some photographic manufacturers
still do that today. (I laughed when I read the manual of
Sekonic L-398M meters... they didn't revise it since 70s, I

If you are a fan of highly cryptic "English-like" sentences
bastardized by Japanese, visit http://engrish.com/.

See also:


There are endless examples of funny English if you go to a
Chinese market. One of the highest quality bamboo spatula
(this part is true, I'm not being cynical about the quality of
the spatula, and I'm not merely telling you what the label
says) comes in a bag printed "bamboo shovel."  There are also
many "fake Japanese" products, that is, Chinese products
masquerading as Japanese products. Most obvious clue is poor
grammar of the Japanese text on the label. Other clues
include: using wrong glyphs, using addresses that don't exist,
the number of digits in the postal code, phone number,
etc. are wrong, etc.

Ryuji Suzuki
Q. What is your real message?
A. Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb.
(Bob Dylan, Don't Look Back, 1965)