Jesus’ blood may never fail you, but a Japanese/English dictionary sure will.

For the past eleven months, I’ve been avoiding listening to a band called- I kid you not- Bump of Chicken. Even if there’s a fine line between bad English and creative English, Bump of Chicken most definitely has both feet firmly planted in the mire of Engrish, with the fair lands of creative English not even on the horizon. My boycott of their music has been one of principle. As an English teacher, I feel I should set an example for my students by modeling proper speech myself and shunning others’ improper use of the language. That, and the name Bump of Chicken is just so stupid that it’s embarrassing to admit that they exist, let alone that I’m a fan.

Too much faith in a Japanese/English dictionary is to blame for Bump of Chicken’s unfortunate name. The band members were aiming for a much cooler appellation, something along the lines of “Cowards Strike Back”. Their fall from grace came when they forsook their mother tongue and instead reached for a Japanese/English dictionary. The dictionary promised the admiration that English-speakers are given in Japan and seemingly also gave the means to attain it. Through this deception, “Attack of the Cowards” regrettably became “Bump of Chicken”. While I may not be a music snob, I am an English snob, so I’m not sure I can forgive this transgression, no matter how good their music may be.

"Karma" by Bump of Chicken.

"Planetarium" by Bump of Chicken.

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