‘Tis the season to be sudsy

How tacky: it’s almost the end of January, yet they still have their “Happy Bath Day” decorations up.  This random pharmacy has no class.

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It’s not all good at all

Quick, what’s the opposite of “OK”?

Uh…”not OK”?

That’s pretty lame.

Well, the Japanese have the answer to our linguistic problems, and you can see it on this electronic card reader:

NG. Can you guess what it means?

“No good”.  The opposite of “OK”.

Furthermore, if you were to, say, suggest that it might lighten the mood in the office if you ironically hum “Whistle while you work”  for the duration of the working day, the answer you get might look like this:

(Source: the Internet)

This is a common gesture to indicate that something is forbidden or that you’re doing something wrong, often used with a spoken “NG” or “No goodo”.  I have to admit, I’m on the end of more than my fair share of these.

Do you see what’s happening?  A new strain of English has emerged, and we’re falling behind.  While we’re snoozing on the pool deck of the good ship Native English, everyone else is zipping past us in their robot speed boats, the wind flicking their hair in an alluring way as they invent and extend English as they please.

Come on team, let’s get with the program.  I want to new word (or acronym using re-purposed words) from each of you on my desk by 9am tomorrow.

The rug you plug into a wall

Happy New Year! Let’s all agree to call this year “twenty-ten” rather than “two thousand and ten”. It sounds so much more futuristic that way. Every time I see the number “2010” written on a poster somewhere, I let out a low whistle. I actually made it to the future. I am very proud of myself.

One of the reasons I know I live in the future is because of this:

That’s right, I have rug technology!  Oh, what’s that, you do too?  Well, if you’ve got good eyes you might have noticed this:

That’s right, I have an electronic rug. I had no idea such things existed.

Actually, it’s called hotto kaapetto in Japanese (hot carpet), which is a pretty accurate name, really. There’s nothing like curling up on a warm piece of carpet on a chilly winter night to read a book. According to the box, it’s four times more efficient than a wall mounted heater, so you can also warm yourself in the false belief that you’re really a kind person towards the environment.

Not only does it heat the floor, but it also nicely takes the chill off the room as the temperature heads down to zero degrees.  My previously numb fingers are thanking me for my little environmental indiscretion.  It’s hard to type in gloves.