It occurred to me a few posts back that someone coming upon this blog for the first time might not realize I like to parody annoying, stupid people and use heaping doses of sarcasm on a regular basis. That would mean they would read something like say, my last post (Don’t worry, you get another chance!) and think that I am a really big racist. I’m not (I mean not a BIG racist anyway) I just like to parody the worst of America. Everyone else is going to do it; I might as well join in.
Dave Barry had this problem when he wrote for the Miami Herald, despite the newspaper clearly stating that he was, in fact, a humor columnist. He wrote “Mr. Language Person”, a column in which he purposely murdered the English language. Every time he’d get letters from people who were very offended that he was teaching incorrect grammar. So he wrote another column in which he explained what was B.S. and what wasn’t. I figured I’d try the same thing by taking my last post and using helpful ellipsis in red (closed captioning!) for those who are sarcasm impaired. I realize this is a repeat for some – in that case you can always just read the red parts – like in the Bible they’re the best!
*********(Warning: This Might Look Familiar) ********
I was driving to work today, and singing along to a song from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, because – I’m me. (note: weird) I like the Hawaiian songs, so naturally try to sing along (key word is “try”), even though I do not speak Hawaiian (I know “Aloha”), so it sounds kind of like this “Oh like oh e maya a una de tala a oof mana mana a eee eee eee eee oh.” (Well it sounds like that to me cause I don’t speak the language. I’m sure Hawaiians understand it. Probably.)
Then it occurred to me that I didn’t know what their language was really called. (I don’t.) Is it really called Hawaiian? (beats me!) Cause I live in the United States, and we don’t speak United States. Nor do we speak American. (I went to school a lot.) We do speak English (supposedly), but New England English is way different than Southern English, or California English. And if we get online, our English doesn’t look like English at all. (Texting is not writing.) I once looked at an old text and realized I had not capitalized my “I”s, and I cringed because I like to use the word “I” a lot (true) and it just looked like I had barfed preschool on the phone. (I didn’t actually barf. I just typed. I might have made barfing noises.) Or teen, take your pick. (I’m not prejudiced against teens, just honest. Okay I’m prejudiced.)
People speak other languages here too, but we (We being mostly lazy, conservative Americans) expect everyone to also speak English, cause we are Americans, even if we actually borrowed English from the English, you know, before those guys screwed it up so much. (British people didn’t screw it up their own language. Not anymore than Americans did (and do!) I mean really – it’s not a jumper. It’s a sweater. (Why call it a jumper? Does it jump? Then again does a sweater sweat? Language is weird period.) A jumper is something little girls wear, like overalls but with a skirt. (I have no idea why we even make these kinds of jumpers.) And we don’t take lifts, nor do we drive lorries, our cars don’t wear bonnets (Our cars wear hoods! Not really, we just call them hoods or bonnets. Or that thing in front of the car.) , and use a freaking article when you say “I’m going to university.” It’s like we Americans have to tell you everything. (Well Americans certainly want to anyway. Try to ignore us as usual.)
But England is weird too (fun weird!), because they don’t just go by England. They also go by Great Britain, and call themselves British, not Greatish, or Greatish Britainish. (I do like wasting my English education.) Or they could be the United Kingdom if you include the unimportant countries around them, like Scotland. (Scotland is full of very smart people who also hate Donald Trump.) I think. (I have no idea) But again, no United Kindomners. Also do you speak Scottish and Irish, or Gaelic, or just English cause everyone has to speak English because we do? I don’t know. (true!) I have not even bothered to Google this. (also true!) I do know that even the most racist people love foreign accents, so if you have one, come on over. We’ll go crazy for you. (We really will.) Look how successful the Beatles were. It wasn’t cause of their haircuts. (It was cause of their singing.)
Now Spain has it right, because their people speak Spanish, but then Mexico speaks Spanish too. But the two are not actually the same. Which means the Spanish I was taught by a white Anglo woman was Spain Spanish, and does little to help me speak Mexican Spanish, and there are a lot more Mexicans around Texas than there are Spaniards. (true) Just ask Donald Trump. (please don’t) I took several years of Spanish, but still can’t keep up with them because they speak, like, fast. And then you like translate in your head, and have to respond, and I just can’t keep up with all of that. (I suck at Spanish) Yet I see some people switch effortlessly from Spanish to English in one breath and I wonder if they are some sort of magician. (Seriously, how do they DO that?)
Then there’s France. They speak French. Fair enough. But we have people in Louisiana who also speak French. Also Cajun, whatever the heck that is. (Gambit from the X-men speaks it!) Parts of Canada speak French too. They don’t speak Canadian, unless you count those guys who used to say “hooser” on Saturday Night Live. (Anyone remember their names?)
On to Japan. They speak Japanese. Yay. Also English. And Engrish, which is a combination of English and Japanese that usually results in hilarity. Like small children wearing shirts with rather inappropriate words, while smiling big happy smiles. (Look it up. It’s funny!) Of course Americans are known for getting tattoos done in Chinese or Japanese characters (they’re the same, right?) (no) and end up permanently affixed with stupid words. Just because the guy says it means “warrior” doesn’t mean it’s right. You could be walking around with the word “sponge” on your bicep. (Also funny!) I bet our Asian neighbors love it when they see this. (No they don’t.) Asian is another word you can call Japanese, or Chinese, or Korean, or Vietnamese, because a lot of Americans aren’t going to bother with the difference. (True – partly because we really don’t know and don’t want to look like idiots) Because we’re too busy playing their video games. (They do make good video games.)
Africa! Now this is one crazy place. (Africans are not insane. Well not most of them.) They don’t all speak African, you guys. They have different languages and dialects, and if I looked it up, I could probably tell you one of them. (I never looked it up.) I think they sound very cool, even if they aren’t saying anything important, like in the introduction to the Lion King. I heard it’s translated something like “It’s a lion, look it’s a lion” which is better than “Llama, llama, penguins in pajamas” which my friend mentioned, and now I hear every time that movie comes on. (Honestly, I hear nothing else now. Llama, llama.) I asked a student from Africa what some names meant, and Simba means “lion”, Mufasa means “king”, and Scar means “bad guy”. Way to be creative, Disney! (You aren’t at all creative, Disney.)
There are a lot more countries (Try looking at a map. I might.), but I know most of you have no attention span and probably quit somewhere around England (Australians speak English too! Sort of!) so I’ll stop here. (I probably would have stopped way back there too, if I were reading this. Sorry I haven’t read your blogs lately!) Suffice it to say, language is very confusing, especially when it doesn’t even match the country name, so I think everyone should have to change theirs to make it easier (sort of like when you guys all went metric and we didn’t, but yet you still didn’t change back to feet and inches). (I don’t actually think people should change their language, or their metric system. Because of our independence there, I never know how to measure squat.) So a “good day” to those who speak Canadian, United Kingdom, Louisiana, Asian, African, and those other places on the map. You’re welcome. (I’m sorry)
Alice (This isn’t even my real name)
You see, I am fluent in sarcasm, so I always get your posts. But this is so helpful for the sarcasm impaired!!
We truly do speaketh the same language. I hope it helps. I only want to help people, you know. Especially stupid ones.
You truly are a humanitarian.
I too have a problem with other people not understand what it is I’m saying. This is because I tend to be sarcastic almost all the time. My kids are too, so I’m thinking that’s why we get odd looks when we’re out. But, I tend not to be sarcastic when I write on my blog – since others are not always so gifted. Love this post, btw.
Thank you! It’s actually very difficult for me to write without sarcasm. My kids have also picked it up, to the annoyance of much of my family. As if it all comes from me! (it does)
It can also be extremely funny. 🙂
Ha, I would hope people would realize your posts are satire, but you never know. People still share The Onion news stories and comment on them like they’re real.
I will say, however, the British seem to have it right with the word ‘fringe.’ Our choice of ‘bangs’ seems odd. Do they go bang bang when we comb them? I hope not.
Oh, yes, the Onion. I remember when a Republican politician actually shared an Onion article about a mall that performed abortions on the run. Fact check? Who needs that?? Hahahaha.
Oh, now that’s scary.
I detect a hint of sarcasm in the red-lettered comments, so you might have to do another post to comment on the comments.
Damn. I can’t even forgo sarcasm in the sarcasm explanations. Ah, well!
Jumpers are a cute and adorable fashion choice for the Under 5 set. They counter-balance large bows on a little girl’s head very nicely.
That is true. But people over 5 (ie adults) should listen to me on the pointless jumper thing. I didn’t once. My jumper matched my under 5 daughter (Thing One)’s jumper. She probably had a large bow on her head. I hope I didn’t. Parents do stupid things.
Considering how poorly people in my family pick up on sarcasm, I need to start red-lettering stuff. Or maybe buy some red letters to wave around wildly in non-text/email conversations.
Sarcasm signs. Or signs for when we aren’t using sarcasm – that would save time.
I will name not one, not two, but several African languages for you.
1. Afrikkans (spoken in South Africa, the country, not to be confused with Southern Africa, the region comprising several countries in the south part of the continent)
2. Twi (spoken in Ghana)
3. Fante (pronounced “fanti”, another Ghanaian language)
4. Zulu (Again, South Africa, but also Swaziland)
5. Siswati (Swaziland, which is a unique little country in that it’s entirely surrounded by South Africa)
6. Shona (Zimbabwe)
I’m sure there’s more that I know about, but that’s all I can remember for now. It’s useful to have a friend who’s in a Religious Community which used to work all over Africa, isn’t it? 😉
Do they change the names of the languages as often as they change the names of some of the countries, because man I get confused?
No, the Shona have been the Shona since before Rhodesia changed to Zimbabwe.