Archive for Language and advertising

Cantonese ad for teppan steak

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"Classic Female Poison Earplugs" — Ask Language Log

Image and query from Hans Oddvar Vannes:

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Vulgar village vernacular

This Chinese article is about a man who has made a living by painting slogans and ads on village walls for thirty years. Some of the slogans are rather bizarre, as may be seen by looking at the many photographs in the article.

The article says it is such a well-paying job that the man was able to buy 6 apartments in his hometown with his earnings. Painting on walls is one of the major ways to advertise or propagate goods and ideas in the countryside.

There are many examples of such signs in the article, but I couldn't understand all of them upon first glance, so I wondered if the country folk would be able to read the signs. I asked a number of my graduate students from China, and they all said, yes, the country folk not only would be able to read them, but would enjoy them and would be motivated to buy the products and services promoted by the signs.

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Burgeranch Israel in the Year of the Ox

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Kanji-esque alphabet writing on a sake label

From Frank Clements:


(source)

Can you read it?

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Lucky eating you

Sign at a shop in Changzhou, Jiangsu, specifically at the Computer City mall:

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Juicy chicken

Mark Swofford sent this photograph of a dish on a menu in a Taiwanese restaurant chain:

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"Little competent donkey"

Announced only yesterday, Alibaba has a new robot delivery vehicle for the last mile:

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There is no best but better

Tweet by Thomas Packard:

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Coloring the United States to suffocation

The Zeesea cosmetics company, based in China, is advertising three new sets of products "X the British Museum", in a relationship that they call a "partnership" and a "cobranding  product line": "Mysterious Egypt", "Alice in Wonderland", and "Angel Cupid".

I'm guessing that the British Museum's role in the partnership did not extend to input on the English names of the products. For example, the Alice in Wonderland Mascara collection includes ten colors, one of which is "Rust Red", advertised with the tag line "After coloring the United States to suffocation can be sweet super A strawberry jam":


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Exotic letter in Taipei

Paul M. sent in this photograph of the front of a fashion shop on Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan:

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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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Tibet water

Ben Zimmer was just passing through Hong Kong Airport, where he got a bottle of Tibet 5100 spring water, complete with Tibetan script:


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