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This is a question Misunderstood

My other half rang a courier today to get a disc sent over to a client. The courier company asked what it was she was sending. "A computer disc", she said.

Half an hour later, 3 blokes in a van turned up. They looked a little disappointed to be handed a floppy disc: they were all prepared to shift a computer desk across London.

Have you been utterly misunderstood recently?

(, Thu 6 Oct 2005, 23:06)
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This question is now closed.

It was all Blackadder's fault. Honest!
At around the age of ten (dear god I hope I wasn't any older) I was just getting into watching Blackadder Goes Forth, occasionally even laughing in the right places, and trying to look damn sophisticated in front of my parents. In one episode he uses the phrase 'heads down for the big bosh gang bang' which, being a young and innocent boy, I misunderstood the meaning of just a tad.

So at the next gigantic family get together I wandered up to my Granny and, with her being slightly deaf, shouted towards her "ARE YOU ENJOYING THE GANG BANG?"

I thought it just meant a big party. Honest. I quickly figured otherwise, however, as the entire room suddenly went silent. Thankfully it turned out I wasn't the only innocent one in the family. My Granny just gave me a huge smile and shouted back "YES DEAR."

About five years later my parents decided to explain my faux pas. I remember hoping to god my Granny was as innocent as me and not just a really dirty bitch.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 9:45, Reply)
Our local corner shop
is run by an elderly Indian Lady, a few months back on a rainy day in the summer the following conversation transpired:

Me: “Hello... wow, its really raining now!”

Indian Woman: “Yes yes… it is strange… Bombay was very hot; today it was very cold…!”

Me: “Yeah I bet it was, how hot was it in Bombay?”

Indian Woman: “Bombay?! No I never been Bombay… I said one’day it was very hot… today it is cold!”

Now, even to this day she talks to me very very slowly annunciating every word, she does this with a straight face leaving me to explain to friends\girlfriends etc why the shop woman talks to me like a 5 year old.

Perhaps I deserve this for stereotyping!
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 9:37, Reply)
Working in Portugal

I was trying out my Portuguese language skills with my colleagues, about football, I think. I was making some derogatory remark about some player or other, to which a colleague replied "Ha piores," meaning "there are worse."

Unfortunately I heard it as "Up yours."
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 9:26, Reply)
Last weeks QOTW?
I don't understand why writerblock's post won the QOTW last week. Am I being really stupid and missing something hilarious, or is it just for the whole 3rd/4th thing?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, I honestly don't get it, so if anyone could explain it to me that would be great. Or has he just trained some monkeys to press the I Like This button twenty times a second?

Also not just being petty and jealous. As Jonathan Ross would say, Elizabeth Duke At Argos's post made me laugh until a little bit of wee came out, way funnier than mine.

So what have I misunderstood? Help me someone. Please!!!
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 9:24, Reply)
My boss commented to the office at large one day...
"I see that black stuntman died"

A couple of people nodded and looked thoughtful for a minute. I though looked up and said incredulously
"What black stuntman?!"

Cue everyone looking at me like I'm some kind of lunatic. He'd actually said:

"Cilla Black's husband's died"
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 9:18, Reply)
Again, not me, my Nan:

A couple of years ago there was a story in the local paper about a sex shop that was going to open in the town, scandalous of course. My mum read the story aloud one morning, hearing this my Nan said angrily "what the bloody hell do we want another pet shop for, there’s 2 in the town already!".
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 9:11, Reply)
Not me but a teacher at my secondary school:

At the end of an RE lesson just as everyone was getting up to leave the teacher suddenly remembered the homework assignment. "I want you to find out as much information as you can about Youth in Asia and bring it in next week". Like good pupils we all turned up next week with some hastily gathered information on what kids get up to in China and India etc. This baffled the teacher for a few moments before he realised his mistake, none of us had ever heard of euthanasia.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 9:04, Reply)
Living in Sweden + standard Brit-Phraseology
I've had a good few Swedish Girlfriends now, but the most mentally trying one was Susanne: she had a chip on her shoulder about being older than me, was an ex-model (with temprement to match), and quite fankly was as daft as a box of frogs.

Most things I said seemed to confuse her (it wasn't hard) so I must have missed the particularly blank looks that must have accompanied one of my more common phrases.

Middle of a party and I make a quiet comment to susanne towards the end of the evening..

The result, Susanne, a spectacularly tall woman who never failed to look stunning, takes one step away from me, turns to face, and ups the volume to "Public Announcment with Anger"

"Will you STOP asking me to do that... It's DISGUSTNIG, and I'll NEVER do it, I can't UNDERSTAND Why you keep ASKING!!"
With tears of rage in her eyes she then turned on her heel, and strode out of the room, thus leaving me the object of much scornfull attention.

At which point it seemed Prudent to repeat myself...

"Well, Bugger me!!!"
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 8:43, Reply)
new foreign job
When I lived in amsterdam, I was absolutely skint and needed an office job to earn some cash to get me back to uni in england. So I ended up taking a summer position in a car leasing company, in their claims department. The most tedious job you can imagine - yes, I had to manually sort 19,000 files in drawers.

Anyway, on my first day there, my dutch (although reasonable) wasn't exactly up to scratch when it came to understanding the insurance lingo. What I didn't realise at the time was the the word for a deduction from an account (aftrek) is very close to the word for a wank (aftrekken). So yes, on my first day I proceeded to approach my boss with a bit of paper, point at it and say 'what is it you want me to do about that wank there?'. Highly embarrassing. Then, at the end of the day, when he asked me if I was enjoying the job, I misunderstood and said very enthusiastically, 'oh...NO'. I don't think he liked me very much.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 8:29, Reply)
When I was younger
We were in a restaraunt in Spain, The waiter came to take the drinks order and everyone ordered coke. When it was my turn I said "same again".

When my drink arrived it was a San Miguel, needless to say my dad decided he would drink it.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 8:27, Reply)
alcohol linguistics in China
I lived in Beijing for 3 years.

Early on I joined a local cycling cluband on my first outing we cycled about 60K in the countryside around the Ming Tombs. It was beautiful but hot as hell and the final stretch was a 10k shallow but constant uphill grade. Suffice to say I was in need of beer related recuscitation at the end.

I went in to the small store across the road from the finish point and, in my best novice Mandarin, asked for a bottle of Pe Jiu (chinese for beer, literally - flower alcohol, which is frankly a girly name for the great ales). The gent behind the counter passed me a green half-litre bottle of a brand I didn't recognise. It wasn't cold, but it was about 15p and the store keeper didn't appear to have a fridge (or electricity come to that) so I decided not to press the point. Some gesticulation based communication ensued and he opened it for me (I did not yet know the Mandarin word for "open", only having learned "thank you", "ashtray" and "beer" so far). Once opened I took a hearty pull from the bottle, expecting to down the lot and demand another bottle, hence impressing the storekeep and cementing the longnoses' reputation amongst the locals of these parts. As this liquid hit the back of my throat it became clear that he had misheard me. For a second I thought I had just swallowed bleach or white spirit, but realisation quickly dawned that I had in my hands a bottle of the famous local grog "bai-jiu" (literally - white alcohol), a whisky strength rice liquor drunk in vast quantities all across the Middle Kingdom. In my twisted foreign assault on the storekeep's language, I had clearly mispronounced pe-jiu ("pee geo") as bai-jiu ("bye geo").

In an attempt to avoid losing face (terribly important amongst the local johnnies) in front of the storekeep and his now gaping family, I continued my pull on the bottle and whiped my lips with my coat sleeve giving all impressions of having quenched my thirst. I thanked the storekeep and left with my image intact, but my throat burning and my stride a little askew.

My proudest moment in China was, 3 years later, getting trousered with a bunch of work colleagues and telling this story ... in Chinese.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 8:24, Reply)
Ok here we go
first off the bat, I live in germany and the fast food establishments are even harder to negociate with only a basic understanding of the language.

secondly because I can only speak small bits of the language and no past or future tenses (as of yet) I get missunderstood alot of the time.

finally when you say to girl, we should do that again it doesn't mean together forever it just means we should do that again

customary size joke and blog link
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 7:52, Reply)
Belgians don't get UK slang
We live in Belgium and that always leads to some funny ones. My Mrs was out with her work chums a few weeks back and was explaining that she fancied getting really really pissed. So she says, "I'm going to get absolutely off my tits tonight." Cue male colleagues of hers trying not to look at her tits and female colleagues all trying to look sympathetic and sying things like, "Nooo, you look lovely", "Try a different bra" and "They're bigger than mine..."
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 7:50, Reply)
So I'm in a well known 'regal' burger joint when I go up to the counter and ask for a Whopper Meal, with a fanta to drink.

What I got was a Chicken Royale and Coffee. Considering there was no-one else in the shop, it was a pretty spectacular misunderstanding.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 6:35, Reply)
Learning to Read
I was a quiet kid, so naturally my parents suspected I might have some mental problems. Every year, I went to see a variety of therapists posing as speech therapists and so on.

In grade one, my parents were suspicious that I didn't know how to read. So they gave me a book about a boy and his dog, and made me read it.

Later, my mom asked me how it was. "Fine," I said curtly.

"Well, what happened in it?" she asked.

I didn't answer.

"How did it end?"

I was speechless.

"You didn't read the damn book, did you?" she accused me. Keep in mind I was too young to remember, so she doubtfully said this.

After I ran off crying, she picked up the book and looked through it. It was a story about a boy whose dog is hit by a car and he learns that everything dies. So my mom realised that I wasn't crying because I couldn't read, but because I'd just been taught about death. Nice parenting job there.

Apologies for the rapidity of these. I'm insatiable.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 6:26, Reply)
Once I was looking for a TV show I downloaded on my computer, and I found a temp directory that had a lot of unusual hidden files that shouldn't have been there. My girlfriend was with me, but there was nothing on my computer that could harm me. I opened a file called "CAMEXP" and saw some nudies of an ex-girlfriend. I exited out of the directory, but she'd already seen.

I'd already gotten in trouble for this before when she found the exact same files in another directory, where they were meant to be stored. I erased those and everything was good. But now, thanks to these phantom pictures in a temp directory, I was in deep crap.

Finally I worked up the nerve to talk to her.

"I know you have a right to have those pictures," she told me. "I won't stop you from masturbating. I'm just mad you let me see them."

"But I don't use those for masturbation," I protested. "Those were pictures of my ex-girlfriend."

Cue other shoe dropping.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 6:18, Reply)
Dog jerky
And another Korean-related one:

A student I used to teach went to Canada for university for a few years. Once, while in a convenience store, she found a product called "dog jerky" with a picture of a dog on it. She almost bought it, but I guess something told her not to. She was lucky, because "dog jerky" is jerky made for dogs, not made OUT OF dogs.

Disclaimer: not all Koreans eat dog. Not even the majority do anymore. It's extremely rare to find a woman who would eat dog.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 5:56, Reply)
Korean misunderstandings
There are all sorts of place names here that are difficult to discern from each other.

Sinchon = loud bar area
Sincheon = quiet neighbourhood
Sangsu = entrance to university nightclub district
Seongsu = quiet neighbourhood

Once I was supposed to meet a friend in the city Chungju. He phoned me up and said "I'm in Choongju now." Luckily Choongju is only one hour away from Chungju.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 5:54, Reply)
Oh the fun to be had in shops!
Working in a shop, we get the ocassional lad in looking for condoms. One time a guy came in and, looking embarressed mumbled that he wanted some condoms. I of course misheard this as bonbons. I went over to the sweets and shouted over " do you want lemon or strawberry ones?" He just left.

Dont know what he was embaressed about, he's getting more than me.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 2:15, Reply)
In a bar in Manchester.
"Can I have a pint of Blackthorn."
For a second I assumed the barman was either fixing himself a drink or ignoring me completely until he returned with a black-currant and soda.
"No, sorry, Blackthorn"
Queue barman again putting blackcurrant in a glass in preperation for a cider and black.

The white girl below me who gives head is a massive lurker. Kudos.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 1:11, Reply)
student teaching
i was student teaching
and my students were all a bunch of 17-18 year olds and the teacher i was working with told me that i have to teach the students how stereotypes work.

so i started the lesson by asking the students what stereotypes were.
big mistake
next thing i know the kids are screaming out all racial things
and one girl says, "all white girls give head"
and before i had a chance to process what she said, i yelled, "that's true"
before i could explain myself
the whole classroom laughed at me (since i am a white girl) - it really was horrible.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 0:57, Reply)
miss understood
i said: "let's have a casual long distance relationship with no lies and no bullshit, just having a laugh, seeing each other every month or so, for the time being, as this seems to suit us both for the time being."
she heard: "let's live together forever and have babies."
with hilarious consequences ...
now girls get upset when i present them with detailed contracts of fling before i take my trousers off ...

or even definitions of luuurve
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 0:51, Reply)
Well, when I was a little 'un
I was quite a warped child and I was always talking to imaginary friends, often inside cakes and badges and, as it turned out, small rubber "bouncy" balls. Soon enough I started talking *to* the objects, like people often do, and although this was very confusing for some people it all made perfect sense to me.

Anyway, at this point in the story, I was nine years old and had just lost a prized bouncy ball that week. It had been 20p out of a machine, but that wasn't the point - it was a pretty shade of blue and other children wanted to play with it too. One day, just before lunch-break, I was in the cloak-room area getting my coat and I found it again, inside one of my pockets, probably where I had left it. This was fabulous news but I was very pissed off about losing it, so I pulled it from my coat and said "Right, you little bastard, you're going home and staying there this time."

Evidently, my teacher, Mr K, had heard me above the noise of children talking to one another, as he called me over and asked for a word. I figured I would be told off for swearing, because saying "bastard" was a seriously big deal when I was nine. But it wasn't the case. As soon as I went up, he asked relatively calmly, "Why are you being so rude to me?"

"Erm...you what, sir?"

"I said WHY ARE YOU BEING SO RUDE TO ME!" he boomed. He also hit the table, causing me to jump backwards a couple of feet. The other children either put all eyes on me or scarpered.

"I wasn't, sir" I said truthfully. "I was talking to this ball here." I held it up. He stared at it, and at me.

"Go to Mr. Farrell" he shouted.

...Fine, I thought, fuck you then. So I went next door to Mr. Farrell, tailed by Mr K. Mr K told Mr Farrell that I had been unspeakably rude to him and made a pathetic excuse about it. I interjected at this point with "No, really, I was just talking to my ball here" and was told to shut up. Mr Farrell said "I think we should take him to Mr Granger." Mr Granger was the scary deputy-head. I was in serious shit, and I knew it.

So I went and sat outside his office while Mr K and Mr Farrell discussed it with him. I was crying and very confused, and I just sat there wondering what I could say to get myself out of trouble. I reasoned that, being an honest person, I would be treated fairly and had nothing to fear.

Not so. Mr Granger came out and said to me "I'm not even going to say anything to you. You disgust me. I just want you to think about what you said, and the pitiful excuse you gave, and how worthless you look."

"But.." I opened my mouth

"DON'T GIVE ME THAT" shouted Mr Granger, before I tuned him out and carried on crying. Looking back on it, I can't help but wonder why he called a nine-year-old boy worthless.

Anyway, it was about to get taken to the head when my councillor\SENCO\whatever lady walked past. After a short chat with her, she had a quiet word with all concerned and it was like nothing had happened. Presumably she told them I'm a schizophrenic or something, I don't know. But that was that. I was a bit annoyed nobody apologised, even though that was clearly pushing it.

Except Mr K sat me on a little table on my own at the back of the class the next day and I had to stay there for three half-terms before my parents intervened, and he never liked me after that either. I didn't mind sitting on my own, and I never asked for my parents to intervene, but Jesus, what a bastard.

The moral of this story is don't talk to inanimate objects in front of crazy Nigerian spacktards who'll get paranoid. By the way, Mr K is really called Kingsford Koomson, and if he's reading this I hope he's lost his job and licks boots for a living.

And Mr Granger now teaches cheerleading.

...Length, etc.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 0:43, Reply)
New York McDonalds
Every bloody time I go in one they fuck up my order.

"Sorry sir I can't understand you"
"A Big Mac!"
"In English Please"
"Im as fucking English as they get!"

5 mins later
"Here is your McChicken Sandwich"

ARRRGGGGG, and its the same in just about every other shop.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 0:29, Reply)
err yeah.
They're about £4 in the shops I think.
(, Fri 7 Oct 2005, 0:21, Reply)
Working in a call centre the other day...
selling Readers Digest subscriptions and trying to peddle special offers to deaf and stupid old people...

part of one attempt at a conversation goes something like this:

me: can i take your phone number please?
old biddy: (rattles off number, less area code)
me: and what's the area code there?
biddy: (gives me 4-digit postcode)
me: no, i mean the area code for the phone number.
biddy: oh, i don't know what that would be.
me: well, where are you calling from?
biddy: i'm calling from home.

at which point i'm starting to find it very hard to keep a straight face...
(, Thu 6 Oct 2005, 23:34, Reply)
Misunderstood? Oh yes, nobody understands my pain..mingemingeminge..
/emo gothkiddie
(, Thu 6 Oct 2005, 23:18, Reply)
phoned up my gf
at end of a night out 2 kip at hers, somehow text her and got her address. misread the text (tired and pissed) knocked on the door and something was different. kipped, woke up in the morning and turns out her next door neightbour (that i'd knocked on) was my ex. fucking small world. had 2 do a lot of explaining to ex and a lot of covering up to gf.
(, Thu 6 Oct 2005, 23:16, Reply)
An ex girlfriend asked for aural sex once...
...bit of a tight fit but we managed in the end.

PS. First, La La La.
(, Thu 6 Oct 2005, 23:12, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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