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Lettuce / It Says “Never Give Up” refers to a circulating image on Tumblr where a young man mistranslated the Japanese word for “lettuce” as the phrase “never give up” in effort to troll unsuspecting users on the site. As the post gained notes, other Tumblr users began purposely mistranslating both “lettuce” and “never give up” into other languages.
On December 4th, 2012, the Tumblr user ChuckQuizmo posted a photo of himself holding up a piece of lined paper with the Japanese word “レタス” (lettuce) printed on it. The photo was accompanied by the text “”Never Give Up"," as to imply the Japanese term on the paper was that phrase. As of December 24th, the post has accumulated nearly 33,000 notes.
As the post began to circulate, Japanese speakers brought attention to the intentional mistranslation as ChuckQuizmo stood with his translation. A screenshot of this interaction was shared on FunnyJunk on December 5th, receiving 768 points. In response, other Tumblr users began to use the phrase “never give up” and “lettuce” interchangeably as early as December 7th, when s0cksy posted an image of Lettuce Midorikawa from the shōjo manga series Tokyo Mew Mew with the caption “Never Give Up Midorikawa.”
The same day, kibblestan took a photo of himself holding up a piece of lined paper with “決してあきらめない” (“never give up”) written on it, paired with the caption “Lettuce.” Other users began writing “lettuce” in other language systems including Chinese, the Dragon Alphabet from The Elder Scrolls video game series and the Daedric Alphabet from Homestuck. Additional posts can be found on both the lettuce and “never give up” Tumblr tags.
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