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October 19, 2009

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You are what you eat...

I'm always amazed and amused when I see humorous ESL (English as Second Language) bad translations and misprints reproduced in advertisements, as on this Burger King poster hanging in Prague's Hlavní Nadrazí (main train station).

Seriously, there are so many native English speakers in the Czech Republic (hello, ex-pats!), couldn't mega-corporation Burger King ask someone if this sounded right before spending a fortune to spread the message? I wasn't the only one who found it funny--a group of laughing teenage Czech boys gathered with cell phone cameras and snapped away.

My best guess was that someone confused "angry" with "hungry," but I thought it was somehow appropriate in the sense that industrial meat production is a crime against nature and to do so much gratuitous violence to animals bespeaks a certain hostility to life itself. Well, the joke was on me.

It turns out this was intentional, part of a promotion which debuted in the US in early 2009, supported by an official website featuring the Angry-Gram which encourages users to "send the subject of your anger a personalized message screamed forth from an animated Angry Whopper."

Angry is only a word, but the words we use have real impacts on attitude, behavior, and health. Think angry, get angry.

And, as KRS-ONE brilliantly expounds, you are what you eat.