Fun with English

Sometimes one of the funniest things about living in Italy is the so-called English you see on T-shirts, posters, and in graffiti.  It ranges from the slightly incorrect to head-scratching bizarre.  Here are some of my favorites:

In Italian, information is plural, which is definitely a cultural thing.  Because when it’s finally your turn, you want to ask every possible question while you’ve got the chance.

Service is another thing that is plural in Italian (we’ll forgive the spelling error).  The logic is that anyone who offers only one service will soon be put out of business by those who offer many and varied services.

Prepositions do not translate in Italian like other parts of speech.  Whereas we would say, “It’s Time to Travel,” in Italian the correct preposition is “of.”  A prepositional difference that causes problems for many English-speakers is being “in” a city.  In Italian you say that you are “at” a city and “in” a state or country.

This is another prepositional error, based on translating directly from Italian.  Even after eleven years, I am still corrected (most recently, yesterday) on my use of prepositions in Italian.

I think the writer was trying to convey the idea of an innovation in fun.

Very . . . what?

Um, won’t he mind if I eat his food?  If native English-speakers have trouble with the use of apostrophes, you can expect people from other countries to also have trouble.

I found this sign in a grocery store.  Most non-English-speakers are unaware of double meanings, like how “funny” with regard to food can be a bad thing, as in “this fish tastes funny.”

This sign was at a bank.  You’ve got to give them credit for trying, and they get points for cleverness with the obvious reference to “in God we trust” on American money, but it’s got to be “young people” or it simply doesn’t work in English.

Apparently the person who wrote this is unaware that ‘n is short for “and.”  I think they were trying for something like “lady in motion,” since it’s advertising a fitness club.

I love this one!  I think it’s a simple misspelling of “feeling,” but for a runner, “on the road with felling” could spell disaster.

I took this picture in Prague.  It’s obviously a clothing store, so perhaps they are going for the vegetarian (though not vegan) market.

It’s true, but not well-stated.

This is my favorite!  I found this (it appears to be spaghetti sauce) in a grocery store in Romania and laughed so hard I cried.  The other shoppers just stared at me.  “Man, I’m starving!  If only I had some crap!”

Think up your own “crap” phrases and post them here.  Let’s see who can come up with the funniest crap phrase.

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