Sun Aug 27 23:24:20 2000
To: chris, dad, yoko
From: "Peter M. Rivard"
Subject: Japanese English
Cc: many

Hey, all-- August 27, 2000

      No new news to report, just an observation. Japan is famous for bad and inappropriate English--I saw a nice old lady walking down the street with a "Fuck You" T-shirt, and one of the high school girls in my group at camp was wearing one that said "Pleasure Every Time"; a junior high schooler sported the more authentically Japanese "Cherries: Thinking Someone is Tellific." However, I've discovered that not all bad Japanese English is random. In a fancy department store, a la Macy's, I saw a T-shirt reading "No Fucking" complete with an appropriate illustration in a crossed out circle (perhaps "an inappropriate illustration" would be a more accurate phrase, but I was impressed with the flexibility of Japanese stick figures). The same store also had "major homo" T-shirts, but neither of these were on sale, so I didn't bother. I've seen "Big Dyke" shirts back home, but only on actual big dykes. I saw "hamusutaa donatsu" in katakana (the syllabic alphabet for foreign words) on a file card in stationary, and, checking my reading, found out that, yes, the notebooks under the card did say "hamster donut" (subtitle: "a new type of good taste") in English-and the illustration left no doubt that they meant "hamster donut": lots of photos of hamsters in chef hats and of donuts. I have new stationary. OOOOHHH! I just noticed it has stickers!!!!!! Hamsters shouting the welcome and thank you things that Japanese store clerks sing endlessly!


That's all.


Peter

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