May 05, 2004


As an ESL teacher, I love when a non-native speaker incorrectly uses an English expression. These instances can range from lewd to cute, but they're always good excuses for language learning and laughter.

Today a German man who works in my building came in our office and was asking my co-worker about baby lotion. He asked me about it, and I told him that I don't know anything about babies. He responded, "I don't either, but my sister just came down with one. Wait, that's not the expression..." Hysterical. Indeed, after eating dinner last week with my neighbors' three year old, one year old, ten month old, and six month old, I would not be too content if I came down with a child right now either!

Posted by Sarah at May 5, 2004 10:05 PM

Heh, yep--this is the reason why I try to avoid saying French expressions among my French friends. My speech might lack a bit of color, but at least I don't feel like a fool. Heh. I have, however, bought books on the subject.

Posted by: Jeremiah at May 5, 2004 10:17 PM

I'm married to an English woman. It happens to us at times. After all, America and England are two countries divided by a single language.

You know the phrases, "I'll ring you up tomorrow." Or "I think I'll chat her up."

I just about died when I heard a young English woman mention that she was going to "knock up" a friend the next day.

Posted by: NightHawk at May 6, 2004 01:10 AM

A ten month old and a six month old? What part of Utah do you live in? you remember the show Major Dad? Some years ago I served on a staff where we had our own version of the female NCO...even though Army we called her "Gunny". She was socially inept to say the least.

One day one of the Majors was in a hurry, seeking a stapler so he could hand the boss a report. "Where is the stapler? Where is the stapler?"

Gunny pointed out it was sitting right on his desk. Proud to have contributed...she then said

"Sir...if it had been a blind man, it would have bit you!"

Say what???

By the way, my darling wife gets these wrong all the time too...we call them Pattisms. I keep them posted on the fridge...I'll share some with you once I go back and look them up.

Thanks for the laugh...I needed it on a day when only the freakin' prison and Michael Moore can seem to get on my TV set.

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