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By chance

Friday, April 2, 2010

Although much different, these two missed connection ads remind me of each other.  I think they're both really charming, with a tiny bit of raciness mixed in to make them have a little extra, shall we say, tang?

13th street, Monday evening. "Do you want me to come in?" "Oh, no! No strangers." Address S.T. Rauger, box 1,341 Post office.

Will young lady who (par hazard) permitted me yesterday (7th) evening, in 2d av., to accompany her to her residence and left me afterward, have the kindness to send me some word?  Souvenez votre soveur S. Address Souvenir, Herald Uptown.

Oh these little mysteries!  Actually, let's start with the second one.  As I've said before, I really love it when people use French or other foreign languages in their ads because it indicates a fairly high level of education.  Your average working class stiff had no, or at least very, very little knowledge of French - unless, of course, he or she happened to be French.  So this is always fun to see - except that there are, I think, two misspellings here.  It should be "par hasard" with an "s," which means "by chance."  (I'm basing this entirely on the wonders of the internet, so actual French speakers should feel free to correct me.)  The other one is the word "soveur," which as far as I can tell isn't a word at all.  My guess is that he meant "sauveur," which means "savior."  So what I wonder is: were these mistakes by the newspaper clerk who took the ad, who, being a lowly clerk, probably isn't at all versed in French?  Or was the advertiser a poseur who wanted to sound all intellectual and suave, but whose French was really only mediocre?  I wonder.  And if I'm right about the "sauveur" for "soveur," I wonder what she was being saved from?  Was it something serious - like she was attacked in an alleyway?  Or was it just like that he saved her from being a wallflower at a dance?  Hmm, intriguing.

The first ad I like even more.  I love this exchange because it sounds so exactly like something you might hear today.  Let's see, boy meets girl at some tea shop or restaurant or in a stagecoach.  Boy walks her home and they have a lovely little chat.  Then boy is hoping to get a little action and thinks she might take him home with her - but, being a self-respecting girl, she shoots him down.  Good on you, girl!  Still, he's hopeful that something might come of it anyway, and so prints his little personal.  Somehow I don't like his odds.

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2010 Pam Epstein


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