Learn to speak Apartment-Ese with Ease!

17 07 2008

DISCLAIMER: The following text is a gross exaggeration and utter generalization of a common scenario: apartment ads on classifieds pages or on Craigslist. Any resemblance to actual ads is PURELY COINCIDENTAL so please don’t sue my GR@$$ or post angry comments or feel hurt in general. I couldn’t do better, I assure you.

It’s no secret that I’m looking for an apartment now, and in order to do this, I’m checking Craigslist and other sources. After some time hunting in the wild, it became clear that these ads are not written in English but in another language, one based on the Indo-European tradition but incorporating entirely foreign phrases and words. This language is of unknown origins, possibly brought to Earth by space aliens in flying saucers. This language is Apartment-Ese.

After years of studying the ins and outs of this bizarre form of language, if you could call it that, I put together a guide explaining the ins and outs of the parts of speech, meanings of words, etc. Should you find yourself out hunting in the bush, trying to find the right apartment and go in for the kill, you need to know what to expect in case you run into any of the locals, overlords or landlords in the region. Here is an overview of the translations of various phrases you might encounter out in the wild:

  • ALL CAPITAL LETTERS HOLY SH* MAN, THIS IS IMPORTANT — The person wishes to get your attention to tell you that the place is potentially dangerous or a bad value. The person is potentially screaming, only using words and not their voice.
  • “In the heart of ____” — You are located a fair distance from a desirable locale. Your commute will be several miles at minimum. It’s a good thing they’re warning you ahead of time.
  • GINORMOUS PETS PURRRRFECTLY WELCOME!!!! — This is the landlord’s way of warning you that there are dangerous or annoying animals in the midst of your new potential home. Strange, I know. Note the capital letters. This is how they warn you that you might be barking up the wrong tree.
  • “walking distance” — During the daytime, you will be able to walk to a specific location in a matter of minutes, or at least in less than an hour. However at night, they are warning you, it is probably too dangerous.
  • “on a quiet street” — They’re telling you the place is in a boring, potentially remote area. Or, alternatively, they are emphasizing that although the area around is known for being dangerous, this place is an island of safety in a sea of crack houses.
  • “upscale” — Boring area, snobby neighbors
  • BAD CREDIT OK!! NO CREDIT CHECK!! — The OverLandLords are informing you that they come in peace and that they wish to help you build your credit. They love you. They don’t care what a loser or SOB you are. This place is just for you, you SOB. No need to be concerned or worried or potentially suspicious. No need to wonder if others around you are SOBs — you’re one big happy SOB family.
  • “adorable bungalow” — Better have Bob Villa’s number on speed-dial, because this place qualifies for This Old House’s Greatest Hits. Make that “Olde,” because this is a fixer-upper times 10.
  • “charming” — Like that ugly dog that’s so ugly that you can’t help but love it.
  • “city living” or “urban luxury” or “convenience of downtown” — Could be dangerous. This is the place that people living “on a quiet street” are seeking an island of safety from.

That said, once again, I don’t know that I could do much better writing apartment ads, but I felt I had to get that off my chest. My apologies to anyone I might have offended; and now I’d better get back in the bush and start apartment hunting again. Losers.

Love, me.