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    Category: Language & Words

    This category features customers whose mishandling of vocabulary and grammar are so bad that we literally have no words to describe them!

    Acting Like They Were Born In A Bearn

    | Austin, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, History, Language & Words

    (I work at a renaissance festival, where the workers are required to be in character when interacting with patrons. Two women are looking around the shop while their two boys, about seven or so, are horsing around with wooden swords. Sometimes I play along with the kids, but they’re getting out of control.)

    Little Boy #1: “DIE! I’m gonna get you! I’m gonna kill you!”

    Little Boy #2: “Not if I kill you first! RAAAAAAAAAAH!”

    (The moms look a little resigned to all this and don’t say anything, but now the boys are starting to trip and hit each other so I step in and yell to be heard over them.)

    Me: “Squires! Please take the arts of war outside my shop. We are a peaceful establishment!”

    (They stop dead and look at me, dumbfounded. Then they hastily scoot outside and begin whacking each other again.)

    Mom: “Wow, can you follow us around all day? They haven’t listened to us once!”

    Cut This One Down To Size

    | Auckland, New Zealand | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (I work in a clothing store with the basic sizes, S, M, and L.)

    Me: “Can I help you with anything today?”

    Customer: “Yes, I’m wanting a plain top for my dad in ‘men’s.’”

    Me: “Certainly. What size were you looking for?”

    Customer: “Men’s.”

    Me: “Um, what size?”

    Customer: “Men’s!”

    Me: “Were you looking for a medium, by any chance?”

    Customer: “MEN’S! MEN’S! WHY DO I HAVE TO REPEAT MYSELF!?”

    (I head out the back and grab a medium anyway.)

    Me: “We have a ‘M’ here for you.”

    Customer: “SEE! That wasn’t so hard was it!?”

    Books Are Going The Way Of The Dinosaur

    | AK, USA | Books & Reading, Funny Names, Language & Words

    Me: “Hi. What can I help you find today?”

    Customer: “I want to find a book.”

    Me: “What book are you looking for?”

    Customer: “I’m looking for that book with a bunch of words in it that sounds like a dinosaur?”

    Me: *stares for a moment* “…a thesaurus?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Incheon Further Away From The Answer, Part 4

    | Cheyenne, WY, USA | Bigotry, Geography, Language & Words

    (My family lives in a predominantly Caucasian town. We are half-Korean and half-Caucasian, but we were born in the US. While shopping with my sister, we are approached by an elderly lady and her younger friend.)

    Elderly Customer: “Where are the cotton balls?”

    Me: “I do not work for the store, but my sister and I can walk you to the display of cotton balls.”

    Elderly Customer: “When did you come to the country? Your English is so good!”

    (I answer with a smile, since I get asked this all the time.)

    Me: “Well, actually, we were both born and raised here in this very town. Our father met our mother while he was stationed in Korea for the Air Force. We’re first-generation American on our mother’s side, but our father is from Kansas. Our family actually owns a ‘century farm’ there.”

    (The elderly customer looks puzzled and her friend offers us an apology)

    Customer’s Friend: “Sorry. I don’t know what is wrong with her today.”

    My Sister: “It’s okay. Many people assume we aren’t American. We just correct them. It’s the nice thing to do.”

    Elderly Customer: “You people are always so nice! Orientals are the nicest people, aren’t they? And you have such pretty skin and hair, too. Isn’t Chinese food the best? Those people are so nice at the restaurant, but you must know them since they’re Oriental, too!”

    Customer’s Friend: *turning red* “They said they are American and they aren’t even Chinese!” *to us* “I am so sorry about all of this! Thank you for helping us find the cotton balls.”

    (My sister and I smile at her and bid them both a nice day. As they walk away, the elderly customer turns back, smiles at us, and yells out with her hands open:)

    Elderly Customer: “Welcome to America!”

    Related:
    Incheon Further Away From The Answer, Part 3
    Incheon Further Away From The Answer, Part 2

    Accentuating The Problem

    , | Paris, France | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (My family is on vacation in Europe with a large tour group, consisting of about 40 people from Canada and the US. My sister and I are trying to order at a Parisian McDonald’s, while a middle-aged Texan woman from the same tour is waiting in the next queue over.)

    Me: *in bad French* “Uh, could I have a… McChicken?”

    Employee: *in French* “Sorry, what did you want?”

    Me: *in French, more clearly* “Um, McChicken.”

    Employee: *in French* “Ah! Of course. That’ll be [amount].”

    Sister: *to me* “I think you were trying too hard to get the accent right. You sounded ridiculous.”

    Me: “I didn’t think it sounded that bad… At least I tried.”

    (While waiting for our food, we can’t help but overhear what’s going on in the next queue…)

    Texan Customer: “Yeah, I’d like a combo number four–”

    Employee: *in French* “Sorry, what?”

    (The woman gives the flustered employee a death stare, then speaks loudly and slowly.)

    Texan Customer: “COMBO. COOOOOMBO.”

    (We left then, so I don’t know if the customer ever got her food. To this day, no one in my family ever says the word ‘combo’ without putting on an exaggerated drawl!)

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