My Love of Mangled English: Introduction

Like John Berryman, I am a monoglot of English, and so for all intents and purposes, [1] I have not experienced the pleasure of overhearing someone ridiculing me in a foreign language, and then saying in their language, “Mothafucka, I heard what you just said!”

As a consolation, perhaps, I really enjoy seeing and reading mangled English. Like this one, from a Japanese car rental brochure, which I originally found in some out of print book I bought from Quality Paperback Book Club back in the 90s:

When a passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigour.

I wish someone would take a photo of this brochure because it verges on the apocryphal, which may be half the fun.


  1. And I used to say “for all intensive purposes.” It’s by the grace of G-d or whoever that I never got caught writing it (or that no one ever called me on it) before I realized my error – and the laziness of the phrase.  ↩

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