Mr. Clean versus Mr. Proper (Or: Brand name differences)

A few days ago I was at Albert Heijn. I thought this would be a fun topic for the blog:

Bottles of Mr Proper, Albert Heijn, The Hague

I did not post the picture to show how tall the shelves are/how short I am. I already know that! Usually Marco is around when I need something from a tall shelf so it works out, thankfully.

The photo is actually of a cleaner called “Mr. Proper”. If you’re American you’ll probably more easily recognize it as “Mr. Clean”. But like most things, names are translated into local languages. And that doesn’t stop at everyday purchases – for example Hermione in the Harry Potter books is named Hermelien in Dutch. Hmm.

I read the Wikipedia article for “Mr. Clean” before writing this blog post. My favorite random fact was the following: “make mrproper is a command in the Linux kernel build system, used to “clean up” all files from past builds and restore the build directory to its original clean state.” And of course proper was used in place from clean because the creator of Linux was from Europe.

Finally, I am also amused by the simplest thing: the pronunciation of “Mr. Proper”. Mr. is actually an abbreviation for Meneer (which still translates to Mister). You would pronounce it something like: Meh-neer Pro-per, with emphasis on “pro”. The syllable splitting of proper gets me; in Dutch if you have one consonant it always attaches itself to the second syllable, not the first. Prop-er would be incorrect in Dutch. (If you have two consonants one goes with the first syllable and the other with the second syllable: kap-per.)

And thus ends our random Dutch supermarket lesson.

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Categories: Everyday purchases | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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