Just like last week’s photo, this week’s features some repeating. “Happy” and “Merry” mean the same thing! It’s kind of strange to use them both together. I feel as if the writer was thinking of “Merry Christmas” as one thing, and wanted to wish us a happy “Merry Christmas”. But, for a native speaker, that doesn’t make any sense.
Sometimes Japanese designers do things with English words that a native-speaking designer would never do. This is one example! You can’t just break a word in your design like this. Even putting a hyphen in the broken word would look bad — and even worse since words should only break between syllables, and the break in “happy” is after the first “p”. But broken words look bad in graphic design, no matter what. Even if you’re trying to make the words be shaped like a Christmas tree.
There’s no doubt that it’s strange English. In part it’s simply because “Happy with a smile” would be more grammatically correct.
But even then it doesn’t sound natural. Maybe because, if you’re happy, it’s most likely that you are smiling. So it seems unnecessary to say so.
Also, “Happy with ~” sounds like it means that you are pleased with that thing or person.” For example, “My son did his chores around the house today, so I’m happy with him.” But I don’t think the car rental company who made this sign wants to say that they are pleased with their smiles!
Of course they want to say that their employees are smiling and friendly. So they could use a classic English slogan like:
O Service with a smile
だとしたら、Be happy with a smile! だったらどうか？
What do you think, Tim? (Tim says: “It still sounds strange to me!”)
We’ll make you happy with a smile!
田中亜由美は「TOEICテスト クロストレーニング PART 1・2」などの本は販売中！ブログはこちら.