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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!

    Cannot Speak The Language Of Respect

    | USA | Bigotry, Geography, Language & Words, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I am out to eat with a friend, and we are waiting for our table. There is an older Spanish-speaking couple nearby also waiting, and two boys of about high-school age. I don’t speak Spanish, but I picked up a handful of words from an old job.)

    Spanish-Speaking Woman: *asks me a question in Spanish*

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I only know a few words in Spanish. What was that?”

    Spanish-Speaking Woman: *smiles, and repeats herself*

    (I realize she needs to know where the bathroom is.)

    Me: “Oh! See the stairs? Go to the hallway next to the stairs; it’s right there.”

    (She thanks me, and hurries off to the bathroom. The high school boys make faces at me, and chime in.)

    Boy #1: “Damn, b****, why are you helping them? You should’ve made them ask in English first!”

    Me: “I’m not going to dignify that with a response.”

    Boy #2: “Hey! You show me and my friend some respect, old lady! Do you know who we are?”

    Me: “I don’t care who you are, my dear child. Why don’t you go bother somebody else?”

    Boy #1: “Oh, hell naw! You ain’t talkin’ to me like that! You show me some respect, right now!”

    (He stamps his foot. My friend and I burst out laughing.)

    Me: “Oh, this is going to be an entertaining evening.”

    Boy #1: “You ain’t allowed to laugh at me; I’m a man!”

    Me: “No, dear. What you are is a minor child throwing a temper tantrum because you happen to be a racist. Now, shoo, adults are talking.”

    Boy #2: “Naw! All you gotta do is show them d*** immigrants who’s boss! They gotta speak our language if they want to be here! I went to Mexico and none of them f****** spoke English! Ain’t got no respect!”

    Me: “You do realize that Mexico is a different country, don’t you?”

    Boy #2: “Duh!”

    Me: “And their official language is Spanish.”

    Boy #2: “So?”

    Me: “So… you think that people who move here should have to speak English because most people here do, in some form or another. But when you visit other countries, where official language is not English, they should have to learn to make your life easier?”

    Boy #2: “Yes!”

    Me: “I… have a headache.”

    (The older Spanish-speaking couple are seated a few tables away from us. The teens are there to apply for jobs, but because they’d put on their little display in full view of the hostess, they were not-so-kindly shown the door.)

    Someone Needs To Treat Warhorse

    | St. Cloud, MN, USA | Language & Words, Pets & Animals

    (I work at a call center that does outbound fundraising. One of our clients is the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Minnesota.)

    Me: “Hello, this is [my name], calling for the ‘Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Minnesota’. Thanks for taking my call!”

    Woman: “Wait, wait, did you say veterans?”

    Me: “Yes, I was calling because—”

    Woman: “I don’t need a veteran. I don’t even have any animals!”

    (I can give her the benefit of the doubt for simply mixing up the words ‘veterans’ and ‘veterinarians’. But I have to wonder what she would have thought a veterinarian of foreign wars would be!)

    To Speak To An Agent, Please Press Fo’

    | USA | Language & Words

    Customer: “I couldn’ get through y’awls phone thingy, cawz it din’n understand me. Why don’ it never understaaaaaaaaan me?”

    Me: “I’m sorry. Sometimes it has a hard time with accents and voices.”

    Customer: “Bu I ain’ got no accen!”

    Me: “Ma’am, we all have accents. Mine is Bostonian. Yours is Southern. We’re both likely to confuse computers.”

    Customer: “Fayer nuff.”

    Initially Incorrect, But They Nipped It In The Bud

    | St. Louis, MO, USA | Funny Names, Language & Words

    (I work at a design firm. A few of our designers have special design achievements that are abbreviated in initials in a smaller script after their name on their business card. I am working in our showroom when a customer comes up to me with a question.)

    Customer: “Excuse me. I am looking for the young man I was talking to earlier.”

    Me: “Sure, we have several male designers here. Do you remember his name?”

    Customer: “No, but he gave me his business card.”

    (She looks around confused for a moment, then her face lights up when she remembers something.)

    Customer: “He has really small nipples!”

    Me: “Excuse me!”

    Customer: “Nipples.”

    Me: “Uhm… anything more descriptive?”

    (A look of horror crosses her face as she realizes what she has said.)

    Customer:Initials! After his name on his card, he has really small initials.”

    Space Is His Final Frontier

    | MI, USA | Language & Words, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer is at the fishing license kiosk, entering in his application. He is looking visibly frustrated.)

    Customer: “Oh, come on!”

    (I walk up to the customer.)

    Me: “Alright, can I see you go through this?”

    Customer: “I’ve already done it four times!”

    Me: “I understand. Just one more time, please.”

    (The customer types his full name in the space provided. I see the problem. Instead of ‘John L. Doe’ he writes ‘johnldoe’.)

    Me: “Alright, you’re going to need to put spaces in there.”

    Customer: “Fine.”

    (The customer puts the spaces in. We get to the address. He types in an equivalent of: ’123adr3$$@Clty’.)

    Me: “…alright, why don’t I just handle this?”

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