Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The grass is smiling at you

Public signs, though useful, are often irritating. Their air of authority and power to order us around and control our movements is a little scary. God knows where we are actually going if we follow them. Seeing these public imperatives twisted and mangled is delicious, especially in Chinglish where the mistranslations are so extreme.

There are so many hundreds of them around that I decided to narrow it down to a category. Food was just too weird: complex and culturally-specific menus are impossible to translate. A lot of signs had inadvertent naughty words in them (and I restrained myself until that last one, which was just too good not to include). I found a few weird and even lovely signs about "keep off the grass", but there weren't quite enough of them, so I expanded the category to Parks and Recreation, outdoor activities that simply demand lots and lots of rules. 

Thus we are told there is a "go aheand smorking" section, that we should "be careful drowning", that we should watch out for falling people, and always "care for life. Do not fun."

I will not tell you what you should do in that last one.

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