It’s Not As White As You Think It Is

, , , , , , | Learning | December 3, 2019

(I’m teaching a lesson on how Latin has influenced English, so the students all have lists of English words with their Latin equivalents. The students need to think about which words from Latin are directly related to English, indirectly related, or not related at all.)

Me: “Okay, what word did you choose?”

Class: “White.”

Me: “What is the Latin word?”

Class: “Albus, alba, album.”

Me: “Does that sound like the English word ‘white’?”

Class: “NO!”

Me: “Does it sound like another English word that is similar to white?”

Boy: *sitting in the back corner of the room* “Yes!”

Me: “Okay, what word is it related to?” *expecting “albino”*

Boy: “ALABAMA!”

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Making Italy Great Again  

, , , , | Right | December 2, 2019

Hostess: *in Italian* “Hello, sir, welcome to [Restaurant]!”

Customer: *in English* “Godd*** it, speak English, for God’s sake! Stop this barbaric dead language!”

Hostess: *switching to English* “I’m sorry, sir, but this is Rome, and most people here speak Italian.”

Customer: “Why? They should speak the good, proper language of English, not this freak stuff.”

Hostess: “But, sir, we are in Italy. Most everyone here speaks the language of our country.”

Customer: “Well, they shouldn’t. They’re just dumb to not learn our language as well as their own.”

Hostess: “Well, sir, how many languages do you know?”

Customer: “Just English. Good old English, like we all should.”

Hostess: “Well, I’m sorry, sir, but we cannot serve bigoted a**holes. Goodbye.”

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Death Swooped In And Stole Her Voice

, , , | Right | December 1, 2019

(I am taking an order over the phone for a client who is sending a sympathy bouquet to a funeral service. The conversation is casual; she doesn’t seem emotional over the death, so I assume it’s for a business relationship or distant relative. The order goes smoothly until I ask her about the card message.)

Me: “And what would you like the enclosure card to read?”

Client: *hesitates* “Um…” 

(As that is a common response for clients unsure of what they want to say, I try to help by giving suggestions.)

Me: “‘With Deepest Sympathy,’ ‘In Loving Memory,’ ‘Thoughts and Prayers are With You’?”

Client: *pause* “What should I say?”

Me: “Most people go with something along the lines of ‘With Deepest Sympathy,’ ‘In Loving Memory,’ or ‘Thoughts and Prayers are With You.'”

Client: “Yeah, that’ll work.”

Me: “Did you have a preference?”

Client: “For what?”

Me: “Most people generally choose just one.”

Client: *no response*

Me: “Which would you prefer? ‘With Deepest Sympathy’? ‘In Loving Memory’? Or ‘Thoughts and Prayers are With You’?”

Client: “Oh! ‘Deepest Sympathy’ will work.”

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Deadly Choices

, , , , , , | Related | November 29, 2019

(My aunt is preparing to make dinner while my brother, mother, and I are watching TV.)

Aunt: *calls from the kitchen* “Hey, [My Name], will you run downstairs and get some turkey burgers out of the deep freezer? Or [Brother], either one?”

Mother: *very promptly* “I don’t think [Brother] is in the freezer.”

Aunt: “Okay, good one. But will you go?”

Me: “Is it my choice which one I get out of the freezer?”

Aunt: “Yes. Your choice. Am I cooking burgers or your brother?”

Brother: “Don’t give them that choice.”

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Don’t Print Too Much Blue  

, , , | Right | November 28, 2019

(A customer comes in looking for some ink for his printer.)

Customer: “I need some ink for [printer model].”

Me: “That printer takes [cartridge models]. You can find them on that shelf there.” *points to cartridges*

Customer: “Okay, but why do they have to call them these funny names? Why can’t they just be called red, yellow, and blue? Anyhow, I need the red one. Is that magenta?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “And so the cyanide must be the blue one?”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Um… yeah. Yes. The cyan is the blue.”

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