Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Poblem Engrish Worldwide

The use of bad English is not only restricted to Singapore and East Asian countries, as evidenced in From the Baltic to the Pacific, Engrish can be found worldwide, even in supposedly "English-speaking" countries:

Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Don't join in then...

This actually causes me physical pain. It happens both times there are subtitles in 'Mean Girls'. You would have thought that with their budget, they could have got a proofreader in.

Location: Eden, North Carolina, USA
Why is that even for You're Eyes only? Shouldn't everyone be warned?

Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Holy modern Bible translations, Batman!

9 of 10 experts agree that 'crakers' sounds more "crispy" than 'crackers'.

Location: University of Nottingham, UK
For the love of Mike, this is an ENGLISH university.

Location: the former Soviet Union
The name says it all.

Location: Greenwich, SE London, UK
The line for the Barber Shop begins here.
Cool! Instructions with a stammer!

Location: Rowan College, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA
I think this note is about vodka boiler-makers...

Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
[insert mildly-humorous somewhat-appropriate Dan Quayle joke here]

You can't beat this.

Thanks to Emily Ash for most of the photographs.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Found: The Letter S

Some months ago, the Poblem Engrish team notified the general public about the case of disappearing Ss throughout the island.

One such S has recently been located; hiding in a word that didn't need it:

Location: CHIJMES Basement

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Login Fun

Location: Wireless internet, Starbucks Coffee.

Note the 'You have key in an invalid User ID'. Confusion of the active and passive voices - should be 'keyed', not 'key'.

Location: Wireless internet, National University of Singapore.

Note the 'I am a visitor to NUS, how could I...' . Misuse of 'could'. It should be 'how may I', 'how might I' or even 'how do I'.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Plumb Job!

Location: Straits Times, 14 March 2007.

'In Singapore, 25-year-old Yu Yingxi turned down a plumb offer by a British bank to work as a civil servant here.'

Indeed, entirely understandable. I wouldn't want to be a plumber for a British bank either.

Or did they mean PLUM offer?

Tsk. This really is an appalling mistake, and on the front page too.

Straits Times editors, I'd really like to know how much sleep you get during office hours!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

NUS Debate Club

Location: National University of Singapore, Engineering Faculty.

I think they've also just proven they don't know that starting a sentence with a conjunction is verboten.

Hello chaps... I'm not sure the country needs you, but you sure need a grammar refresher course!

NUS Debate Club. Pffft.

Not impressed!

Quite So!

Location: Anglo-Chinese Junior College

Um, a WHAT occasion?

Location: Macdonald's, Queensway Shopping Centre.

This is from last September. Um, a WHAT occasion? No, wait, I don't think I want to know...

Park Your Handicap Here!

Location: Carpark near Arab Street

'For The Handicap'? How sweet. Park your handicap there, go for lunch, pick up your handicap when you come back...

Exit Caution

EXIT CAUTION - therefore no caution required? Sounds like a stage direction... 'exit Macbeth'!

LOOK BEFORE GO - very odd use of differently-sized fonts there.

NO JUMPING QUEQUE - 'queque' is so cute. It looks almost Spanish.

Nearly an error in each line. Sigh.

Poblem Latin!

Location: Monument to the former Raffles Girls' School, Stamford Road, at Singapore Management University.

Now, now, I know - this isn't strictly Poblem Engrish. It's actually Poblem Latin, but hey, it's my blog and I teach Latin and Greek to pay the bills, so I'll put it here if I want to!

Note the motto, as the picture has it:


Note the inconsistency between use of 'AE' and the ligature 'Æ'. They should both be 'AE' or 'Æ', not a mix of the two. Now, a little bit of background. In Latin, the combination 'AE' may be written as 'AE', and likewise 'OE' may be written as 'Œ'. Both classical and present practice is to write the letters separately, but the ligatures were used in mediæval and early modern writings, in part because æ was reduced to a simple long vowel (IPA [eː]) in late Latin, and the same for œ.

Yet, what's really odd is the space between the 'Æ' ligature and the next two letters 'VI'. It looks as if the sign had 'AEVI' at first (the spacing looks right for that), and then afterwards, the 'AE' in 'AEVI' was replaced with 'Æ'. Whoever replaced 'AE' with 'Æ' was pedantic, but not pedantic enough to replace both.

Very, very odd.

Sushi Tei

Location: Sushi Tei, Raffles City

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Two Howlers

from Bottle Beer

I agree, building good tiles is very important :)

also from Bottle Beer!

Admire the Door?

Location: Tampines MRT control station

Credits to: Fredrik Yeo HangZhi

Mighty Hunter #1

Location: Seen on a van at Grace Assembly of God Church in Tanglin.

Thanks to Joel Pan!

Friday, March 09, 2007

We're Back

For half a year, Poblem Engrish has been dormant; updates have been few and lacking in quality. No more - for I promise you, our loyal readers, that from today, Poblem Engrish has thrown off the lethargy that has strangled production of posts in the past months.

Without further ado, I give you this month's photographs:

Location: Tanjong Pagar MRT station
Beware of glass. Get too close and it'll eat you.

Location: Robinsons, Raffles City
We're speaking English now, so modify your adjectives.

Location: Random multistoried car park near Chinatown
Likewise, your nouns/verbs.

Location: Jurong West Fried Chicken, near Jurong West Avenue 1
Would you like a serving of frost to go with your fries?

Location: Coffeeshop in Clementi
This drink comes with a large dose of lemon juice. Submitted by Sean.

Keep your submissions coming!