Bad English Is Funny

I’ve struggled for years to become fluent in Spanish, so the last thing I want to do is make fun of anybody’s English. Unless it’s on a sign.

Like this one:


The kid’s boyfriend, Greg, ran across that sign on a vending machine in Kyoto, Japan. We have absolutely no idea what it means, although the origin of some mistakes seems more obvious.

For instance, in Istanbul, my niece pointed out a sign on a cafe that read “Sorry, we’re open.” That would be a logical extension of “Sorry, we’re closed,” as long as you don’t know what “sorry” means.

There are, of course, Web sites devoted to signs in mangled English, particularly those that involve a double entendre. I prefer, however, the just plain wacky.

As in the classic: “Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension” from a list that is widely distributed on the Web. 

Seriously, I’m laughing with them, not at them. I shudder to think what I would write on a sign in Spanish.


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