Not counting dangling participles or comma splices, many Americans butcher the English language. Misspellings and malapropisms are everywhere: Notice restaurant signage that boasts "fine dinning" or check out the "Headlines" segment on "The Tonight Show," where Jay Leno pokes fun at mistakes that slipped past copy editors.
We're equally bemused by the fanciful way English is used in other countries. The website www.engrish.com collects photos of "Engrish" as it's used in Japanese advertising -- and the results are often humorous because, yes, things do get lost in translation.
Visitors can examine the packaging for products like "Tissues of Puppy" (a box with pictures of frolicking dogs) or a Bic razor with a head-scratching wrapper: "You know what you want and what to expect. To run, at one time, like a horse on the prairie."
Although some may think the site is politically incorrect, Honolulu-based webmaster Steve C., who's lived and worked in Japan, says that his domain is not meant to offend. "I try to execute the site in a way that 'has fun with' the Engrish phenomenon rather than 'making fun of' the people who make it," he writes via e-mail.