Full Flavour Behaviour!

Men's Probelm
posted Thursday November 15th @ 1:03pm

Men's Probelm

This sign is in the window of one of those "Eastern Remedies" places which sell bear tongues and ant penis to cure your various ills. The windows are filled with poorly-composed and badly-executed signage but when I spotted this pair I had to stop and snap them for your enjoyment. First, and most obviously, the pencil corrections to a printed notice which are so faint as to be almost invisible until you look carefully make me feel a little paternal. "Yes, dear; very good sign correction.. what is it supposed to say?" It suggests a sad back story; the lead time on new home-printed signs would be, what, five minutes? Call it twenty if you've never used MS Word before. But still the pencil because the crazed old granny running the shop clearly can't bear to have any electronics within fifty feet of her and, having obtained the originals from her well-meaning immigrant godson, isn't about to dishonour her family by asking for revisions. I suspect, actually, that he may have done it deliberately just to get the word belm in there.

What makes this special though isn't the futile pencil work but the fact that even the corrections aren't correct. Yes, she spotted the problem with the probelm but problEm is still not quite there, is it dear? And Hair Loose.. well as it happens I'm warming to Hair Loose. As somebody who is actually going bald I quite like the poetry of it and will let that slide. Not that it detracts from the humour of mocking those with poor language skills, of course.

The cherry on the cake, however, is the fact that she's got the apostrophe in Men's absolutely spot-on. Entirely by accident, I'm sure (unless apostrophisation was the only class she attended at her EFL evening classes) but correct nontheless and in a fashion which would be beyond, I would estimate, about 70% of native English speakers. Whether this averages out or not I cannot say but it certainly adds up to brightening my afternoon considerably.

I think I'm going to get a t-shirt saying "Men's Probelm Hair Loose?"

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