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Today I saw an advertisement saying, "Let English English you." Near the second English, there were own.

What does this phrase really mean? Is it just a slogan? (This is an advertisement of an English school.)

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closed as too localized by simchona, FumbleFingers, z7sg Ѫ, mgkrebbs, Jasper Loy Sep 6 '11 at 20:57

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Even "just a slogan" should ordinarily mean something. Your example doesn't seem to mean anything. Can you give any more context? – FumbleFingers Sep 6 '11 at 20:53
@igor: Without more, we can't interpret this for you. – simchona Sep 6 '11 at 21:10
@igor: I seriously suggest you don't enrol in that school! – FumbleFingers Sep 6 '11 at 21:16
@FumbleFingers I agree :) – igor Sep 6 '11 at 21:19
@igor: Most of your questions here on ELU are quite reasonable, and I hope the answers have been helpful. But I do think one area you need to be careful of is asking the meaning of "sentences" which you think may not have been produced by native English speakers. In this case the sentence was not your own, and it was closed as "too localised". If you submit sentences which you yourself have created, to ask if they are okay, they may get closed as "proofreading". Also, please do understand why we often ask for "more context". – FumbleFingers Sep 6 '11 at 21:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

"English" as a verb, is very rare. Personally, I've never heard of such a usage, but looking it up on the dictionary, I find:

English v. to adopt (a foreign word) into English

In the context of the ad, instead of adopting a foreign word, "English" is used to mean, adopt you into English, that is, make you more ... Western perhaps? More Anglicized.

Then, the punchline. "Own" means to have complete control over, or complete possessorship over something. Meaning, don't just let English adopt you, let it possess you completely.

I am supposing, presuming, that this ad is an advertisement promoting English.

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:) thank you for answer. – igor Sep 6 '11 at 21:09
In your interpretation one would have to suppose the first English means either the language itself, or the people of England. Which makes the whole sentence even more nonsensical, since clearly no native speakers would ever produce the utterance. Also note that (very rarely), "english" is used in the world of snooker to mean the "spin" applied to the cue ball, controlling its final position after a shot. Plausibly it may (even more rarely) function as a verb for applying that spin, though I've never heard it used that way. – FumbleFingers Sep 6 '11 at 21:14
@FumbleFingers, two points. First, how would "own" be explained if we were to use the snooker version of "English"? Secondly, this is an ad, and most ads are nonsensical in their language use. – Thursagen Sep 6 '11 at 21:16
@FumbleFingers it's very interested. I wanted in so feedbacks. – igor Sep 6 '11 at 21:17
@Thursagen: I didn't mean to suggest the snooker meaning was relevant here, it was just an interesting aside. Clearly the ad itself is bordering on gibberish, and should simply serve as a warning to anyone wanting to learn English that they should look for teachers with better command of the language. – FumbleFingers Sep 6 '11 at 21:20

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