Wednesday, July 22, 2009

#1098 Ragamuffin, Drunken People, The Customer Is Not Always Right, Anpanman, Intoxicated

Show 1098 Wednesday 22 July
Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah, welcome to The Daily English Show.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with sites that have examples of funny English. There are a few of them out there and I came across one the other day that I hadn’t seen before called - and I thought it was pretty funny.

One of the signs that I found the most hilarious was a sign outside a tower somewhere that said:

The ragamuffin, drunken people, and psychotics are forbidden to enter the Tower.

So, what is strange about that sentence?

I think the funniest thing is the choice of words such as ragamuffin. Ragamuffin an old-fashioned word for a person dressed in ragged, dirty clothes. And it’s not the kind of word that you would use on a sign like this.

When you write rules on a sign, presumably your aim is to get people to take the rules seriously so that don’t have to do things like kick people out because they’re causing trouble.

So, in order to get people to take the sign seriously, you need to choose words with the right tone. And this can be hard if you’re just picking the words out of the dictionary. For example ragamuffin might have the right meaning … but it doesn’t quite have the right tone. So if you use the word ragamuffin like that then I think people would be more likely to laugh at your sign rather than take it seriously.

If I was to rewrite that sentence on that sign, I would probably write something like this:

People who are intoxicated, wearing offensive clothing, or behaving in an antisocial manner, will be refused entry to the tower.

click here

The site I recommend today is called Not Always Right.
Have you heard the phrase: The customer is always right?
There’s probably a version of the same thing in your native language.

Of course that doesn’t literally mean that the customer is always right it just means you’re supposed to act as if they are so they buy more stuff. And, as you know, if you’ve ever worked in a job involving customer service, customers can be very stupid.

And this site has stories of funny things that customers have said.

Here are a few examples.


Customer: Do you have a picture book of dinosaurs?

Me: Sure.

(We walk to the dinosaur books and I show him many books with various sketches and paintings of dinosaurs.)

Customer: No, not pictures…PHOTOGRAPHS. Photos of dinosaurs, please. Where are those?


Tech Support: So you’re having issues picking up your wireless signal … how many connections are there?

Customer: There’s two other networks but only one bar on each … those are my bad neighbors.

Tech Support: So the good signal isn’t there? Hmm, your modem might be off; can we check that?
Customer: Modem?

(Tech support troubleshot that for a while before realizing the guy had never paid for internet before and didn’t own a modem.)

Tech Support: Sir, when you said the other connections were your ‘bad neighbors…’ Did you mean that the good neighbor with the good signal isn’t there?

Customer: Oh, he moved?


Kia ora, in Stick News today Anpanman has set a new Guinness World Record for the highest number of characters in an animated franchise.

Soreike! Anpanman それいけ!アンパンマン is an animated TV series which has been on the air in Japan since 1988. The series is now the verified Guinness World Record Holder for the highest number of characters in an animated franchise with 1,768 characters. Apparently producers actually submitted a world record application for over 2,000 characters but some "characters" were not approved by Guinness.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 22nd of July.
Kia ora.

Word of the Day

Today’s word is intoxicated.

Intoxicated means drunk. It’s a formal word so you might see it in a news report or on a sign but you wouldn’t usually use it in conversation.

conversations with sarah
#697 Guess what

Step 1: Repeat Will’s lines.
Step 2: Read Will’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Guess what.

Will What?

Sarah I went to the post office today …

Will Wow, that was a fascinating story. Tell it again.

Sarah I haven’t finished yet. Stop interrupting!

Will I didn’t interrupt. You stopped!

Sarah I didn’t stop, I paused. It was like a comma not a full stop.

Will OK, whatever … carry on.

Sarah No.

Will What do you mean, “No”?

Sarah I don’t want to tell you anymore.

Will Why not?

Sarah Because now it will sound boring after all that build up.


The customer is always right. - Origin


today's STICK NEWS pictures


show start
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: Future Cha Cha
from: Brooklyn, NY, United States
artist site

click here start
artist: #NarNaoud#
album: Green Vision
track: Oriental Standing
from: Gironde, France
artist at Jamendo
album at Jamendo
artist site

WOD start
artist: DJ iPep's
album: Home Mix 2007
track: Game Toy
from: EVREUX, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

cws start
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: The Jazz Woman
from: Brooklyn, NY, United States
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack2
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: Desert City
from: Brooklyn, NY, United States
artist site

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