Thursday, September 3, 2009

I love signs in Chinese restaurants

There's a Chinese restaurant where I sometimes go for takeout, and I noticed this sign by the cash register a little while ago.

I love signs in Chinese restaurants because the people who write them usually aren't very good at English, so they mostly get the point across, but the bastardization of English is usually quite funny, especially to this (not literally) card-carrying member of the grammar police.

And for my friend who didn't understand the sign, I'm assuming she meant point #3. They have a bunch of pre-prepared hot food dishes available, and you can get combos with your choice of 1, 2, 3 or 4 items from the available dishes. I guess you have to buy 2 or more combos with at least 3 items each before you qualify for the free drink.

They used to not have the requirement that you purchase more than one combo, and it wasn't good only at lunchtime. The only real requirement was that it had to be a to-go order, and if they gave you the free drink and then you sat down at a table, they'd then make you pay for the drink - at least that's what the sign used to say. Oh, and the free drink isn't Coke or Pepsi or anything most people would know. When I'd gotten the free drink previously, it was some odd flavored fruit or vegetable drink or something, so not getting the drink anymore never mattered to me.

Now, back to the sign - this is not to say that only Chinese restaurants have poorly-written signs. You can find those just about anywhere - and I usually do. But the signs in Chinese and Japanese restaurants are usually the most amusing.

Speaking of amusing, and on a not-particularly-related note, I'm reminded of a time when I was at a friend's party. There were already quite a number of people there, and we were chatting and snacking and having a good time, and somehow or other, we got around to talking about the English that's printed on Chinese packaged food and how weird that usually ends up being. The friend for some reason I can no longer remember happened to have a package of Chinese noodles in her refrigerator, so she took it out, and a bunch of us were reading it and laughing. Another friend arrived right at that point, and I took the package of noodles and gave it to him and demanded a cold reading. Get it? Yes, that is exactly what I said to him. And yes, everyone laughed. So, he'd just arrived at this party, and he gets handed a package of cold Chinese noodles and is told to read the packaging. And what did he do? Why, he did as requested, of course! It was actually quite funny all around.

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