Archive for Language and advertising

Cutesy hairdresser names

I've heard it said that among the retail establishments most addicted to cutesy punning business names are hairdressing salons. I mean, you don't find law practices called Law 'n' Order to Go, do you? Or a hardware store called Get Hard? Or a butcher's called Meat and Greet? But with hairdressers… Well, I don't know all that many myself; just about 150 or so that I've personally seen the signs for…

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Campaign for promoting falls awareness

The Health Promotion Board (Bǎojiàn cùjìn jú 保健促进局) of Singapore has launched a campaign to promote awareness of falling.  Here's the poster they circulated in conjunction with the launch:


(Source)

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The embrace of algae

Apparently being covered in pond slime can be a Good Thing:

That's an advertisement in the elevator at the LREC 2016 site. The legend sounds like a chapter heading from a dystopian SF novel, but apparently it's an experience worth 46,80 €.

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Inspirational PLA Video

[The following is a guest post by Mark Metcalf, a retired Naval officer and adjunct Lecturer in Chinese Literature at the University of Virginia.]

One of the joys of being semi-retired is having the luxury of being able to chase the occasional squirrel that appears in my field of view. This morning one of those squirrels appeared in the form of a South China Morning Post article:

"‘Just waiting for the order to kill, kill, kill’: China’s military tries to woo young recruits with slick video featuring rock and rap soundtrack" (5/4/16)

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Candidate for President

ICYMI, the median presidential candidate TV ad:

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The mostest and the bestest

Photograph of a sign in Hangzhou:

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Fruity bar

One of the items in the gift box handed out to the thousands of runners in the Qingyuan marathon in Guangdong province last Sunday:

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Poetic Vienna

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Allstate in Chinese hands

In "Our hands, your mystification" (3/12/16), Mark Liberman found an English translation of the Chinese version of the iconic Allstate slogan, "You're in good hands with Allstate", in a 2003 Chicago Tribune article, and it comes out as "Turn to our hands to be worry-free."

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Our hands, your mystification

This morning, a site that I often visit displayed in the upper right of the front page a small Allstate Insurance ad featuring the slogan "Hamare haath, aapke saath." This caught my linguistic attention, and since there was a vivid purple button reading  LEARN MORE , I dutifully clicked on it.

But the result was just a larger Allstate page displaying the same slogan:

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Tell the truth!

It was a linguistic maneuver that had possibly never been tried before in the history of real estate: tell the straight truth about the property, no varnishing, no slathering with adjectives like "stunning". Just tell it like it is. One brave firm of real estate agents, Scott & Stapleton in England, tried it as a way of getting rid of a run-down apartment in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. The manager, Rob Kahl, wrote the copy:

Not for the faint hearted this first floor flat is being sold as seen, rubbish and all!

Having recently just had to evict some charming (not) tenants the vendors of this property have had enough and can't even face setting foot in what used to be their sweet and charming home.

I can't flower this one up or use my normal estate agent jargon to make this sound any better.

The property is full of rubbish, there is mould on the walls and I think there may even be some fleas there to keep me company when I carry out the viewings.

To conclude, the advertisement advised those viewing the property to "wipe your feet on the way out".

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Both Chinese and Japanese; neither Japanese nor Chinese

An ad for a new product of a Hong Kong cake shop went viral for taking pseudo-Japanese to the extreme:

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Technical Sauna at Buddy Hair

Another intriguing sign from Nagoya, Japan sent in by Nathan Hopson:

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