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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!

    Giving The French Stick

    | AK, USA | Geography, Language & Words, Top, Tourists/Travel

    Customer: *with a strong French accent* “I would like a ticket to Paris, USA.”

    (His friends are snickering.)

    Me: “The one in Illinois or in Tennessee?”

    Customer: *pauses* “What?”

    Me: “Do you want Paris IL, or Paris TN?”

    Customer: “How about Marseilles?”

    Me: “Okay, Marseilles in Illinois or Ohio?”

    Customer: “Berlin?”

    Me: “So, Connecticut?”

    Customer: “Moscow?”

    Me: “Idaho?”

    Customer: “You’re making that up.”

    (I show him the screen for Moscow, Idaho.)

    Customer: “Look, I was only pointing out that American movies always list the city and country for a location because you’re too d*** stupid to know that Paris is in France!”

    There Is Norway I Can Understand You

    | Trondheim, Norway | Family & Kids, Language & Words, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (A young boy, about 12, is walking around confused.)

    Me: *in Norwegian* “Where are your parents?”

    Child: *clearly British* “Why the heck do people here assume I speak bloody Norwegian?”

    Me: *in English* “You’re in Norway.”

    Child: “Oh, yeah.”

    Getting To The Out Source Of The Matter

    | Tempe, AZ, USA | Language & Words, Technology

    Me: “Hello, you have reached [business name]. This is [name]. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Oh, thank God! I was just talking to some mush mouth who couldn’t speak English right at all. You shouldn’t outsource; do your employers outsource? People can’t understand you when you outsource.”

    Me: “Well, I am sorry for that. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “I want my password. That mush mouth changed it, and now I can’t log in.”

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am. May I have your ID and what you want your password to be?”

    Caller: “Just change it back to what it was.”

    Me: “Well, I apologize, but I can not do that. For security reasons we can not see a password, only set it to something else. I can set it to a default or anything you request.”

    Caller: “Well, I am requesting the old password. Just fix it.”

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but it’s impossible for me to know.”

    Caller: “Well, my internet knows. It tries to use the password. Just take it from that.”

    Me: “I can not take a password from your browser. If your login was working, why did you call to change your password?”

    Caller: “The news told me people can take that information and steal all your files, so I was worried.”

    Me: “Ma’am, your information is safe, I assure you.”

    Caller: “Then why can’t you just change my password back to ‘Password’?”

    Me: “Your old password was ‘Password’?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Fighting Ignorance With Ignorance, Part 2

    | NH, USA | Family & Kids, Language & Words

    (I am working in the clothing section of a department store when I overhear this conversation. Note: I work with a very nice woman who moved to America from India about ten years ago.)

    Mother: “Did you find everything you needed, hon?”

    Child: “Yep! A really nice Indian lady helped me.”

    Mother: “No, no! We don’t say Indian. We say ‘Native American.’”

    Child: “No, mom, not that kind of Indian. One from India!”

    Mother: “Don’t be silly, hon. We took their country from them, not gave them one.”

    Related:
    Fighting Ignorance With Ignorance

    Se Habla Japañol

    , | Springfield, MO, USA | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Top

    (I am taking orders on both lanes at the fast food restaurant. I already have other customers at the second window as someone pulls up to the menu board.)

    Customer: “Hablas español?” (“Do you speak Spanish?”)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’ll be with you in just a minute.”

    Customer: “Hablas español?”

    (I say the only thing I know in Spanish.)

    Me: “Lo siento, pero no puedo hablar español. Solamente inglés o japonés.” (“I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. Only English or Japanese.”)

    Customer: *in heavily accented English* “I SPEAK JAPANESE TOO!”

    Me: “Hontoo? Nihongo o hanasu?” (“Really? You speak Japanese?”)

    Customer: “Soo desu yo! Shichi-ban ga hoshii, nomimono wa Sprite desu!” (“Yes I do! I want a number 7 with Sprite!”)

    Me: “Nani mo ga hoshii?” (“Would you like anything else?”)

    Customer: “Chotto.” (“No thank you.”)

    Me: “Hai soo desu, shichi doru san juu sento onegaishimasu. Ni-ban me fune de gozaimasu.”

    (The other customers at the second window are still there with a flabbergasted look on their faces. I hand them their food.)

    Me: “Don’t ask, it’d take too long to explain. Have a nice night.”

    Other Customers: “Sayonara!”


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