Thursday, January 16, 2020

From fake to tattoo

By now, the typosphere is familiar with the fake typewriters made in China. (What, you're not familiar? Follow the "fakes" label at the end of this post.) As I've documented before on this blog, the fakes have generated successively more copies, which have become increasingly grotesque. Here's the sequence from a real Gourland typewriter to a copy of a copy of a copy:

But now I've seen it all. This is what I just spotted on Instagram (I will not divulge the name or username of the person who posted it, as I hope they will never realize what they have done to themselves).

The typewriter tattoo phenomenon, which is documented in my book, is kind of neat, in my view. It's like typing on your own body, and imprinting a powerful symbol of creativity and language on yourself. I'd get one, if my wife didn't hate tattoos in general.

But this person has—unwittingly, I assume—gotten a tattoo of a fake typewriter, complete with the weird little details that make no sense to anyone who has experience with real typewriters. The tattoo, a signifier of authenticity (indelible ink, pain, self-expression), has been undercut by the phoniness and superficiality of the notorious "Govrland."

O tempora, o mores.


  1. oh, my! (in the words of one famous ex-helmsman of the Enterprise)

  2. EEEK!

    Most people do much investigation before doing, saying, or in this case: getting.

  3. Okay. This is going into my "reasons to drink in moderation" file.

  4. That is bizarre. XD Still, lots more interesting than chinese characters (that say the opposite of what the person wanted! XD)

  5. I've got a tattoo of a Contessa. Plastic, yes. Fake, no.