Descartes ‘Engrish’ shirt

posted on 21 Nov 2008 in Almost Engrish

I have a lot of photos of shirts with Engrish gibberish on them – many of them are more incoherent than funny so I just kind of put them to the side. This photo caught my eye last night as I was reviewing pics. Just as I was contemplating putting it up as an Engrish of the Day, the thought occurred to me that I should Google the contents to make sure that it is not from a song or something (and get the inevitable emails saying “Hey, that’s not Engrish – that’s from a Billy Joel song!”  – some people love to discredit Engrish whenever possible).

Photo courtesy of Sam and Connie Chow. Shirt found in Tokyo.


Turns out that the phrase on the shirt isn’t quite Engrish after all – it was taken from the middle of Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy (Meditation 2, Paragraph 5). How could I have possibly confused the words of “I think therefore I am” Descartes with Engrish? Cursed these shirt designers and their randomly generated shirts!

I dunno, out of context the sentence still seems kind of Engrishy…

  • Len

    That’s not Engrish, it’s Enlightenment. Although they can be similarly convoluted, they are two completely different dialects. 😀

  • Eric G

    my brain hurts

  • coffeebot

    Think occurs me, ergo exist is made.

  • David

    After reading that, I am resolved to apply myself to the aspirin bottle.

  • dangevin

    There certainly is a fine line, Steve.

  • callumny

    T-shirt slogans are supposed to be brief and witty, something you can read and understand at a glance. This is not gibberish if you take the time to read it, but that would require someone staring at your shirt for a few seconds longer than is generally acceptable.

  • Needalaugh

    Um, I’m spooked, please don’t leave me alone with this t shirt!

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