This is a beautiful poster I spotted recently in a bar in north Dublin. It’s titled How to order a beer around the world and features phrases one can use in various languages to, well, order a beer. Combining my keen interest in languages with my even keener interest in beer, it drew me to itself like a lamp draws a moth.
I have a million comments to make about this poster. But before I do, let us understand what it is for. Contrary to what its title might suggest, its purpose is not to teach you how to order a beer correctly in various languages. Its purpose is more to entertain and amuse than to inform. It belongs in a genre of what I call decorational multilingualism (more about that later). So let us not expect much of it. Continue reading