Monday, September 6, 2021

Hey, it worked for Noma Jean!

This sort of thing is usually classified as "Engrish" (yes, yes, I know that's lacist), but there's a deeper mystery here than mere broken English. What thought process, one wonders, ended in the decision to write on a matchbox, "Live your life like a candle in the wind . . . to become powerful!" (The song does say that loneliness is "tough," I suppose.)

Anyway, I like this one. Sort of Elton John meets Bruce Lee. Be water, my friend! Or a candle.

9 comments:

Mr. Andrew said...

Who is Noma Jean? Is that a typo of Norma?

S.K. Orr said...

Reminds me of when I lived in Japan. Tshirts with English phrases were very trendy at the time. Unfortunately, most of the phrases were the epitome of Engrish. I remember some like "Trip all day and the rock all night" and "Happy Good With The Right People!" and "Best Taco Like Smooth Machine." I brought a couple of the shirts back home to the States, but time and too many laundry cycles did them in. My favorite one was an ad for a fishing equipment company. It featured Eddie Van Halen in one of his famous poses, squatted down on one leg with the other leg extended out in front of him, his guitar pointing up, his face contorted in joy and exertion while he blistered a solo. But on this tshirt, the guitar was replaced with a fishing rod, and a stylized fish was attached to the line, jumping up in a classic Field & Stream shot. My description doesn't do it justice. The tshirt itself was stomp-down hilarious.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Surely you’ve heard of “Goodbye, Noma Jean,” Mr. Andew. Many people consider it one of Elton John’s most poweful pieces.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Here in Taiwan, Engrish restaurant names are where it’s at. Two of my favorites are Bake Shape Ape (a barbecue place) and Bean Curd Person of High Skill.

Mr. Andrew said...

I see the connection now. No, I wasn't familiar with the Elton John song. As they say: when his music turns on, I tune out.

drizzz said...

Don't be a wet match.

Mr. Andrew said...

This is pretty funny though.

Sean Fowler said...

“ while there’s a Lucifer to light your fire, smile boys that’s the style”

Bruce Charlton said...

This stuff is very amusing. The strangeness of people...

The lifts (elevators) in the medical school were made by a German company. There were four of them, each very large, powerful (carrying loads of people), and expensive.

And they had recorded messages like 'Door opening' and 'Door closing' - which happened every time the doors opened or closed - many hundreds of times a day. Yet the manufacturers had not bothered to get an idiomatic translation or a recording with an English accent.

So it was a case of 'Doer iss clorzink' etc. - sounding like a bad actor playing a Nazi in an old movie.

Did King David torture people with saws and burn them in a brick kiln?

Here is a passage in the King James Version of 2 Samuel that rather arrests one's attention. And David gathered all the people together,...