What if New York City real-estate brokers ran a bodega?



Joe Kloc

Internet Culture

Published Oct 29, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 3:07 am CDT

You can always spot an apartment-for-rent ad on Craigslist, with its tell-tale dialect of random caps locks, asterisks, and exclamation points. This lingua franca of Internet real estate has evolved from an environment of brokers pedaling overpriced, windowless sublets.

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Of course, this fact is easily lost on those desperate for a place to live. After a few weeks on Craigslist, with the end of the month coming near, one begins to believe the uppercase enthusiasm of words like “****COZY****” and “!!!PRICED TO MOVE!!!”  

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But if ever you need a reminder of the true purpose of this Internet-broker dialect, check out the Broker Bodega, a new Tumblr that deploys this brokerspeak to advertise standard corner-store fare like mouthwash and spaghetti.

For example, this ad for Bounty paper towels:


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Or this one, for Vicks VapoRub:

One could imagine, someday, a group of Internet archeologists coming across Craigslist brokerspeak and wondering how it came about, what formatting like “___///[insert adjective]___” could possibly mean. Hopefully, they will discover the Broker Bodega, the language’s Rosetta Stone that reveals its true purpose: to sell you garbage.

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H/T @heyveronica | Photo by s o d a p o p/Flickr

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*First Published: Oct 29, 2013, 12:51 pm CDT