Monday, October 27, 2008
I love hybrid language, in all its forms, but when it is written, it can be especially creative. It took me a little while to notice that the CNN logo here also spelled out بالعربية bi 'l-'arabiya in Arabic, but I think the 7-up designers take the cake with this one, which still looks like the 7-up logo until you look closely and see that the 7 is actually أب (though with 3 dots below) and then the rest is seven (I suppose it would ruin it to put in سبع instead). The question is whether any Arabic speakers would be confused and think it was more closely related to the number 6 which looks like a 7 in what we call Arabic numerals. Actually both systems are Hindu-Arabic, and the one used in the west came to Europe through the Maghreb and Andalusia, whereas, Eastern Arabic countries continued to use a number system more closely related to the Hindi original.