PERSONAL FILE: We All Know Robert Frost Was Bullshitting

Two PathsWhen I first started writing this post, I was sitting in a street-side coffee and gelato cafe called Coffee Namu & Zzoo. Don’t ask me what that means: I’ve no idea what or who “Zzoo” is and why he/she/it bears standing equal enough with Namu to warrant deployment of the ampersand. Although it’s probably just two Korean words written phonetically in Roman letters, it’s possible that whichever Korean came up with the name thought it meant something cool and trendy in English. Using English in the names of businesses or cafes and writing English phrases on the walls in fancy letters is a thing here, sort of like how we sometimes do with French or Italian or Spanish. Examples: a quick mart wittily called “Buy & Bye,” a shoe store almost-cleverly dubbed “O My Sole,” and a bank unfortunately named “WooriBank.” They seem to think it adds an exotic and cosmopolitan flair to a venue, except of course when it’s less English and more Konglish. For example: “Sometimes, fall in love when two people meat in the night \ I asked for her relationship and she asked me her accommodation.” It makes me wonder how often something similar happens when an Irish-American pizzeria proprietor pastes an Italian phrase in Vivaldi font above his cafe’s double glass doors. It’s okay though, Koreans. A lot of Americans can’t speak English very well either, and they’re supposedly native speakers.

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