Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Negro woman-speak as interpreted by a white male copywriter

(click ad, from 1920, via) It's Retro Racist Ad of the Week time. "In de ole days, I used for to bash 'em wid an iron, an' sometimes I hits him and sometimes I misses him. Wid Flit I sholy gits him." Please read every word of copy in this ad for Flit bug killer. It's sho nuf convincin'. This is how you did working woman fake testimonials back in the day. Previous ads with Negro-speak interpreted by a white copywriter:
1937 Hires.
1949 General Electric.

3 Comments:

Anonymous dialectician said...

"Negro woman and ranter-speak as interpreted by Ebonics translator"

"In de ole days, I used for to bash 'em wid an iron, an' sometimes I hits him and sometimes I misses him. Wid Flit I sholy gits him."

Please read every word of copy in this ad for Flit bug killer. It's sho nuf convincin'. This is how you did working woman fake testimonials back in the day.

Ebonics Translation:

da thang haz Retro Racist Ad o’ da Week time. "In de ole days, meh used fo’ ta bash ’em wid an iron, an’ sometimes meh hits him an’ sometimes meh misses him. Wid Flit meh sholy gits him."

Please read every word o’ copy in this ad fo’ Flit bug killer. da thang haz sho nuf convincin’. This iz how ya’ll did working bitch fake testimonials back in da dey.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I'd just like to know what genius thought that was a good way to sell a product to begin with. Instant headache.

7:36 PM  
Blogger warren said...

Right, Josh - was it the alleged allure of "downhome wisdom"? Was it a dialect so commonly heard that everyone could handle the awkward phonetic rendering as second nature? Was it nullwitted naivete?

This isn't the first example of terrible patois I've encountered, though it's probably the worst.

6:57 PM  

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