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  1. #1
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    Talking Homophony - It can happen to you!

    I'm copying from Yule's "The study of language", p.53. I laughed out loud when I first saw it, and it's still funny today.

    the judge said, "I'm afraid we'll have to adjourn this case, I have written my judgment out, but I left it in my cottage in Devon and I can't get it sent here until tomorrow." "Fax it up, my Lord," the helpful barrister suggested, to which his Lordship replied, "Yes, it does rather."

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Homophony - It can happen to you!

    It's worth remembering that this wouldn't have happened if the barrister had spoken standard English. In fact, when I heard the story it wasn't a barrister (who would normally have tried to 'southernize' his accent), but a clerk (who tend to be less careful with their speech - they don't have to address judges for a living).

    b

  3. #3
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    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Re: Homophony - It can happen to you!

    A friend of mine once told me this story...she was new to the area, and was planning a "pot luck" dinner with the other wives of executives at her husband's company. One lady was from the deep South, and said that she'd bring some "bold shrimp." My friend jokingly asked, "Are these shrimp particularly forward, or are they served in a bowl?" The Southern lady was unamused, and replied "bold shrimp. B-O-I-L-E-D."

  4. #4
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    Re: Homophony - It can happen to you!

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    It's worth remembering that this wouldn't have happened if the barrister had spoken standard English.
    ...unless the judge was a little hard of hearing.

    I can't offhand think of any real-life examples, but here's one from a British sit-com. Victor Meldrew, whose wife is away for a day or two, takes a phone call. "Yes, that's right," he says, "she's in Kettering" (a town in England). The caller invites him and his wife to her very posh dinner party the following week, which Victor accepts graciously.

    In due course they turn up. The hostess meets them at the door, then shows them into the kitchen and tells them they can start whenever they're ready. They look at her blankly, and after a long pause she says, "But you told me you were in catering..."

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Homophony - It can happen to you!

    Some judges are so out of touch, that he might never have come across a facsimile machine.

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