13 May 2010

A Lesson for Everyone

Two English-language teachers, an American and an Englishman were sitting in a coffee-shop puzzling over why their Thai students seemed so slow at grasping the fundamentals of the English language. They agreed it was an appalling state of affairs.

Yank: Of course, the worst lot are the sophomores.
Brit: I didn't know we ran a signals class.
Yank: Not semaphores, you idiot. Sophomores, second-year students.
Brit: Why didn't you say so in the first place? Which are the most troublesome?
Yank: The lot on the first floor.
Brit: There aren't any classes on the first floor. There's only the library. The sec... sophomores are on the ground floor.
Yank: That's what I said, first floor. By the way, I don't think much of those drapes in the library.
Brit: Drapes? You mean the backward class?
Yank: The drapes on the windows, I can't stand the pink colour.
Brit: You mean curtains. I've got some like that in my flat.
Yank: You've a flat? There's a gas station nearby. They'll fix it.
Brit: No, my flat. Where I live.
Yank: You mean your apartment. How is it anyway?
Brit: Okay, but the lift's a bit of a pain.
Yank: You hurt your back? Why don't you take the elevator?
Enter an Australian colleague.
Bruce: Good-day! Where did you get those strides? They're beaut.
Brit: I beg your pardon.
Yank: He means your pants.
Brit: Where I buy my underwear is none of your business. If you must know, I got them from a pavement stall.
Yank: Those sidewalk stalls in Bangkok are something else. You can buy anything from sneakers to thumbtacks...
Brit: From plimsolls to drawing pins...
Bruce: By the way, what were you two having such an intense conversation about?
Brit: Our students. They just don't seem to be able to grasp plain English.
Bruce: That's right. I spent an hour last week trying to explain what a freeway was.
Yank: I couldn't make them understand what a throughway was.
Brit: What's a freeway?
Bruce: Don't come the raw prawn with me son.
Brit: Okay waiter. Make that fried prawns instead.

Footnote: The above conversation originally included a Scot, but nobody understood a word he said. However he did refer to Postscript as "just a wheen o'blethers" which is apparently something less than complimentary.

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