PHOTOS: Hong Kong's most outlandish English T-shirts

By Ryan Kilpatrick, July 9, 2014

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Laughing at the brazen abuse and misuse of the English language in East Asian countries is hardly a new phenomenon, but it is an enduring one: the first recorded usage of the term “Chinese English” dates from 1857, although they’d have to wait a century before someone invented the portmanteau “Chinglish.”

Like “Engrish” in Japan and “Konglish” in Korea, these “World Englishes” develop their own unique characters over time, merging the global lingua franca with their own mother tongue’s grammar and vocabulary as well as cultural reference points.

Hong Kong is famed worldwide as a meeting place between East and West, but as often as not that meeting is more of a blunt collision or a tepid brushing of the shoulders rather than a beautiful symbiosis. There, Bastien Douglas has been photographing the English T-shirts that catch his eye on the streets. From the comical to the philosophical to the downright nonsensical, be believes that they all “have their own Hong Kong flavour compared to the rest of Asia.”

Here are some of the outstanding gems from his online collection:

"SUCK IT IS JUST ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING I LOVE YOU"

 

"I NEVER LIKED YOU ANYWAY"

 

"THE PIG IS FULL OF MANY MANY CATS"

 

"no! NO What does this mean?? no!"

 

"START WARS"

 

"I'M THAT DUDE"
 

"Practice Safe Snacks"

 

"DON'T WORRY BE SEXY"

 

"FOREVER ON TOP"

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