The January sales have been on in France, and I can only presume that some of the English slogans on the t-shirts were identified as mistakes, and sent to the sales to be sold on the cheap.
Pictured are a few of the bizarre phrases in the last two shops I visited. I wish I had started snapping earlier, as there were plenty of others around.
First up, we’ve got “Love actually OH MY DARLING I WISH WERE HERE.” Err, what? Although it’s obvious to me, as a native English speaker, that there’s a “you” missing, I couldn’t help but imagine what alternatives could go in there: “I wish Pink Floyd were here”, “I wish fish were here”, or “I wish only French speakers were here”.
The next one isn’t missing any words, but it’s missing everything else. Who wears a t-shirt that says “OH My DEAR”? I can imagine one of Jane Austen’s well-to-do characters saying it in sympathy to one of the jilted women. I can’t imagine hearing any of my friends saying it, let alone wearing the t-shirt.
The last one makes even less sense. “Great? what Great?”. What’s with the question marks and odd capitalisation? Nothing about this makes sense. Nothing. How did this get on a t-shirt? Who buys this crud?
French people, if you do insist on buying these t-shirts, please leave them at home on those trips to English-speaking countries to avoid people staring at your chest with a confused look on their face.
Alternatively, maybe I’ve just missed the joke. The same day I saw these t-shirts, I bought one that says “Oh crêpe”. It makes no sense in French of course, but it sounds a lot like “Oh crap” in English. I loved it and had to buy it. So maybe “OH My DEAR” is a play on “Oh mon Dieu” (oh my God). And maybe God knows what on earth “Great? what Great?” is meant to sound like. I’m pretty sure no speakers of English or French can come up with that answer.