Tickle Your Funny-Bone
My Encounters With "Spokers" Of English
It is exasperating to hear some people, who have 'learnt' to
speak in English in the immediate past. You see, they would like
to practice it and who better than the guinea pigs (the
listeners). I am talking about the 'spokers' of English, who only
bring out our ire. If you were to ask me ambiguity adds spice to
life and who better than the spokers of English to practice it
actively in a careless word order.
The other day our neighbour (a gentle lady) informed us about a
news report she saw on TV. In an excited tone she gushed about
"A dejected man who committed suicide, 'by blowing out his
brains, after bidding his wife goodbye with a gun.'" We
sympathised with her English rather than the news item.
She continued in a similar vein enquiring whether I was
interested in purchasing a dog, "A gentleman has a dog to
sell who wishes to go abroad." I politely refused as I
had no surplus funds to finance the dog's trips abroad.
From time to time she comes up with 'seconds sales' offers like,
"For sale: A piano, the property of a musician with carved
This is not the end of my woes. Recently we went to the zoo and
guess what the guide informed us, "Sometimes you will see
an alligator lying in the sunshine on the bank eight feet
long." I never went ahead to view this grand sight.
Imagine what I must have gone through when my own cousin takes a
leaf out of this and informs me about his friend who
"Killed the sparrow which was eating some crumbs with a
My aunt had injured her leg while on a holiday in Paris. She had
to call us immediately about it and guess what. Over the phone
she puts it so beautifully, "I spent the last three days of
my holiday in a chair with a swollen leg."
My poet friend who regales me with others' poems has this to say
about a poem, "These verses written by a young man, who has
long since been dead for his own amusement." Suffice it
to say, I wasn't amused.
Our Education Minister went a step further when he claimed,
"The Board of Education has resolved to erect a building
large enough to accommodate 1000 students three feet
high." Well done! If only this could be true.
I am still rollicking under the 'ad-effect' that I read sometime
back, "Girl wanted for telephone of nice manners and
appearance." Just below it was another ad that reads,
"A nurse maid wanted for baby about twenty years
old." Printer's devil surely.
Our maid has this to say about her late ex-boss, "He was
shot by a secretary under notice to quit with whom he was finding
fault very unfortunately without effect." She discloses
further, "Madam, the epitaph on his grave reads: This
monument has been erected to the memory of John Fault who was
accidentally shot by his secretary as a mark of
I am sure most of you must have come across 'this tongue'. By
luck if you haven't and if you don't believe what you are reading
then I can only say, "A clever judge would see whether a
witness was deliberately lying a great deal better than a stupid
Let's say amen to this entire episode and wish the spokers' souls
rest in peace.