英語のヒント vol. IX: 日本の変な英語看板 2

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Aug 21, 2013 09:31 英語のヒント signs 変な英語看板 hint
Picture: http://i.imgur.com/6prdeVY.jpg

みんな、おはよう!

Today, we will discuss one of my favorite 'English mistake' signs. I took this picture myself about 3 years ago when I came to Japan. It was from the Takamatsu shoutengai.

The sign is outside a barber shop and it reads:

"Butchering is our specialty
Glue no extra charge!"

There are a couple thing wrong with this sign, but the punctuation is not necessarily one of them. That is, the rules for signs are not the same as the rules for writing an essay or a journal entry. The rules for signs and titles are more lax (relaxed) and you don't have to write complete sentences. If you were to write this in a sentence, you would have to write:

"Butchering is our specialty. Glue (is) no extra charge!" (or use an exclamation mark '!' or semi-colon ';').

But since this is a sign, it doesn't have to be perfect. However, the word choice is VERY strange:

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1. "Butcher" = a person who cuts meat (肉屋さん); "butchering" = killing, cutting and processing meat (食肉処理?) or when you're doing something and it goes horribly wrong (台無しにする?).

"Butchering" has two primary (main) meanings: to cut/prepare meat and to do something very poorly. Both meanings have the sense of "roughness" and "imprecision." More specifically, we often use this word when you try to do something that requires great care and you can't do it right. For example:

"He tried to make a cake but it became a burnt lump of coal. He really butchered it."
"She tried to restore the painting but it came out horribly wrong."

Here is a perfect example of butchering something. It's an actual event that happened a while ago where a woman did try to restore a painting of Jesus: http://www.theworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Jesus-PaintingNEW.jpg

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2. "Glue" = のり

Why would you want glue at a barber shop? I think I know the word they want, but, as is, the sign is saying "come to the barber shop for free のり!"

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So this is my favorite sign because together the two sentences have a hilarious meaning. The sign basically says:

"We are really good at cutting you up, but if we cut you, we can gave give you free glue to put your body parts back on!"

or, alternatively:

"We are really good at giving you a bad haircut, but don't worry! You can glue your hair back on for free!"

Both of these messages are the LAST thing you want to see outside a barber shop!

I think I understand the confusion here. The sign-maker was probably thinking of "hair-cutting" when he/she wrote "butchering," and they were probably thinking of "hair gel" when they wrote "glue." So, the sign should be something like:

"Hair cutting is our specialty; hair gel no extra charge!"

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