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Language [lähn-gwidge]

This thing we call English is awful who have to learn it. Period. From the bizarre (bazaar?) spelling to the sentence structure that which is convoluted, it's amazing that this language hasn't just been under rug swept long ago. Yet, since it seems to be a persistent little language (and since it's the only one I can type in) I'll use it here to illustrate just how difficult it must be for those lucky people who's language is not only much much older, possibly simpler, and actually reads left to right and downwards upwards and has millions of characters... I speak of course of the Dutch.

Anyway, I bring that up to speak on this: " Engrish" is the term used to describe the attempts at English often found accompanying that "Made in China" label. We applaud the honest effort at this beast of a language, but we also can't help but laugh when the result is a fabulous malapropism, unintended misnomer or complete and utter gibberish. I have in hand a perfect example of all of the above. Here's the story: I was touring scenic Lancaster County and realized I forgot a toothbrush so I picked one up a local Hess station for $2.19.

Unbelievable but true... there's a market for everything. My Colgate was a Counterfeit!

I guess if I had inspected it more closely I would have noticed the cheap looking, poorly formed plastic bits that made up the handle. I guess I could have detected that the soft rubber 'gripper' was actually just shiny plastic too. But what should have grabbed my attention was the lack of a ADA seal. Instead, it featured a seal of the "China Preventative Medicine Institute" inexplicably abbreviated CPMA. Not enough evidence? How about the zip code for "Colgate-Palmolive" - 510075. Why would someone bother to counterfeit a toothbrush that normally sells for under a buck-fifty? It's obvious! This knock-off toothbrush probably saved the Hess Corporation 2 bits worth of profit. I just wish I hadn't USED it before noticing the packaging. Hopefully the Listerine killed the spider eggs, Hantavirus or whatever else this thing might have been carrying...

Without further ado, here's a scan of the packaging, along with my favorite lines. (The lines line up with the respective spots on the graphic - if and only if you are using the same browser settings I'm using which is about a million to one shot. You can make the font size a bigger/smaller by holding down the CTRL key and rolling the mouse wheel.)

This snippet at the left is from the front of the package.

Note the CPMA logo & the text above it that doesn't match.

Colgate is the "Brand which more and more mouth care experts selected". Yay!

Considering the text at the right, I don't know what they meant to say, but Fibril is a noun. Still, it sounds good if in the same way that "metamucil" sounds good to those who need it. Yeah, and Gent Ly is two words now.



"...brush could clean the chink between the teeth completely". Did they say Chink?!




I love this whole sentence: "The head of the brush is shaped like diamond, could touch the deep area, which is difficult to brush." Leave my Deep Area alone! But seriously folks...

This really is how a Real Colgate toothbrush is packaged believe it or not. It's great marketing... I like to think of my toothbrush greeting me at the door, tail a-wagging!

The neck of the brush is flexible..." No. It isn't. It's rigid. That's more proof this is a knock-off.


"...skid-resisting brush handle..." I don't know about you, but in the bathroom where I brush my teeth, the only thing skid-resisting is my toilet. What do they expect me to brush with this thing?

Good thing they say the handle is "designed according to the Human Engineering" or else I'd wonder about the species for which it was designed.


This is a beaut too: "Colgate work with China Preventing Medicine Academy to prevent the oral disease, and make everybody enjoy with the oral health." This logo, like the one on the front says "China Preventive Medicine Institute" with the letters CPMA.

I like the address. It could be valid as the 800 number is not a north american number & the address in Guangzhou is traditionally a progressive trade city famous for its English. Ironic. I don't know if I buy "Big Capital Plaza" though... and of course, there is the 6 digit zip code.

I'm still a Colgate fan (and have been ever since, as a wee child, Crest scared me with the "Cavity Creeps"). In the end, I had more fun with this toothbrush than a human should be allowed to have... with a toothbrush... Anyway, next time you're in a Hess station (or any convenience store for that matter) check out the brushes, because you too could find a Counterfeit Colgate!

More information on the Cavity Creeps!
An actual picture of the Cavity Creeps!