Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Views on The English Language

Most people agree that English is not the easiest language to learn. Apart from the fact that those of you in the US spell some words differently to those of us in the UK, there are so many grammatical rules, exceptions and irregularities that it amazes me how well non-English speaking people pick it up.

Signs provide a great source of examples of the ‘power’ of English and how it can be misused, abused or simply misunderstood. The ‘errant apostrophe’ is well documented – the greengrocer’s “Pea’s” or “it’s” used in the wrong context. But there are other examples that are more subtle. Here’s a couple that I’ve seen recently:

A sign in a local (very smart) pub: ‘We are looking for part time staff’. You feel like adding ‘If you see them, please send them home!’

Another sign in the toilets of a large hotel: ‘Smoking is prohibited in this hotel. If you observe anyone smoking, a complaint may be made to the management’. So if I see someone smoking, somebody might complain about me …

Have you seen any similar humorous examples?
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