Archive for Signs

Arrogant squid, ch. 2: the mystery deepens

Four days ago, we were treated to the "Arrogant squid of North Texas" (2/2/20).  The longer we pondered this conundrum, the more puzzling it became.  We know exactly where the sign is located (23 miles southeast of Houston and about 10 miles west of Trinity Bay, which joins with Galveston Bay to the south), but we couldn't figure out how and why the "arrogant squid" was connected with North Texas, Southwest District, East Location.

Reader Sarah S. kindly took it upon herself to do a bit of research and reached out to the representative of the building's owner.  Surprisingly, he replied with a (very strange?) message from the tenant:

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Arrogant squid of North Texas

Joe Tello sent me this funny sign:

The line of Chinese at the top says "àomàn yóu 傲慢鱿" ("arrogant squid").  That's puzzling enough by itself, but I actually found the English to be even more mystifying.  It seems to be telling us that this place is in the East Location of the Southwest District of North Texas.  When I try to figure out on a map of Texas where that would put it, my imagination fails me.

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Don't eat the carpet

Sign in an Indian airport:

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"Will life be better in the coming year?"

So asks the Chinese colleague who sent me this photograph:

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Sweethoney dessert

Maidhc Mac Roibin sent in this photograph of the front of a dessert shop in Cupertino from Fintano's flickr site:

201908-PSP-R4-33 Sweethoney Dessert, Cup. CA

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Tao vs. Dao: amazing restaurant sign near UPenn

I've eaten in this hot pot (huǒguō / WG huo3-kuo1 / IPA [xwò.kwó] 火锅 / 火鍋) restaurant at 3717 Chestnut St. on a number of occasions, and each time I go, I am struck by the creative sign out front:

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Multicultural pork buns

Emery Snyder spotted this sign in New York City's Chinatown:


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Multilingualism in Philadelphia's Chinatown

Sign spotted by Diana Shuheng Zhang on December 7, 2019:

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Agu hair bian

Here I am standing in front of a hair salon near the south gate of Kansai University in Osaka, Japan two days ago:

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Tero: an English word in Japanese garb

Three days ago, I passed through immigration at Kansai International Airport (near Osaka).  I was struck by a large, prominently displayed word in katakana (syllabary for transcription of foreign words and onomatopoeia):  tero テロ.

Since I was in a restricted area of the airport, naturally I couldn't take a picture of the signs with this word on them, but I knew right away from the circumstances what it signified:  "terrorism" — they were taking strict precautions against it.

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Remarkable Name of a Hong Kong Restaurant

From Bob Bauer:

Bob explains:

The photograph shows the front of a Hong Kong restaurant which has not only chosen as its name the colloquial indigenous Cantonese word, 冚棒唥 ham6 baang6 laang6 'all; in all' (Sidney Lau 1977:324), but has also displayed this name in BOTH Chinese characters AND Jyut Ping. We should especially note that the Cantonese romanization is correct AND complete with tone numbers!

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Sharing joys with birds

Vito Acosta sent in this photograph of a sign at Tianmu Lake ( Tiānmù hú 天目湖) in Jiangsu:

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Don't eat and don't drink

Wang Tong sent in this photograph of a sign which a friend of hers took during a visit to Japan.  The Chinese translation is quite amusing.

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