Category: Language & Words


Those Things Do Work Automatically

| Finland | Language & Words, Technology

(I’m a technical writer. The product that we’re writing manuals for includes an automatic tester system.)

Coworker: “[My Name], I think you made a typo. This says ‘automatic testes.’”

Me: “Apparently our product has balls now.”


They Won’t Let You Finnish A Sentence

| FL, USA | Employees, Family & Kids, Health & Body, Ignoring & Inattentive, Language & Words

(We are a Finnish family on a holiday in Florida. In the middle of the night my mom comes out of her bedroom saying that she can not breathe. We call 911 and explain the situation. The ambulance arrives after a while. Note: my mother does not speak any English.)

Paramedic: “So where’s the patient?”

Me: “Over there, but she doesn’t…”

Paramedic: “We’ll take over from here!”

Me: “Sure, but she doesn’t speak…”

Paramedic: “Please, sir, we’ve got this.”

Me: “Sure, but she won’t understand…”

(The paramedics completely ignore us from this moment on. We try to tell them that they can not communicate with my mother, because they simply have no common language, but nobody seems to listen.)

Paramedic: “Please, ma’am, we’re here to help you. What is the problem?”

Mom: *speaking in Finnish*

Me: “She’s saying—“

Paramedic: “Please, sir, step back. We’ve got this.”

Me: “But…”

Paramedic: “Back off, sir. We are professionals. Ma’am what’s the problem you’re having?”

Mom: *speaking Finnish to us, saying that she doesn’t understand*

Me: *getting frustrated* “Do you not understand that she does not speak English? She only speaks Finnish! Let me translate!”

Paramedic: “We can’t do anything if the patient is not cooperating with us.” *speaking in his walkie-talkie* “The patient is being uncooperative.”

Me: *getting super-frustrated* “What the f*** are you talking about? I have just explained to you that she does not speak any English, and have offered to interpret for you but you refused! She only speaks Finnish! That is the language of Finland!”

(My family members are having this same discussion with several paramedics trying to explain that she needs one of us to translate. Nobody seems to take us seriously and one paramedic is actually laughing at the situation before my brother confronts him. Finally one of them realizes that they are not getting anywhere, calls a number on his cell phone, and hands the phone to my mom.)

Mom: *in Finnish* “Hello?”

Voice On The Phone: *speaking Spanish*

Mom: *in Finnish* “I don’t understand anything. There’s someone speaking in another language I don’t understand.”

Paramedic: “The patient is still unwilling to cooperate.”

Me: *completely losing my temper* “What the f***? Did I not tell you that she only speaks Finnish? She can not breathe! She’s f***ing dying right in front of us! You will take her to a f***ing hospital right now!”

(Eventually they took us to a hospital and I was allowed to go along to translate. The doctors and nurses at the hospital were much nicer and my mother got the care that she needed and was eventually released.)


You’ve Left The Trail

| Winnipeg, MT, Canada | Employees, Health & Body, Language & Words

(I am at the dentist’s office because I need a filling. I have never been treated by this particular dentist before. I soon noticed that she had a very disconcerting habit of trailing off instead of finishing her sentences.)

Dentist: “Good morning, Miss…” *trails off*

Me: “Good morning.”

Dentist: “Have a seat and I’ll…” *trails off*

Me: *sits down*

Dentist: *brings out needle and prepares to jab my gum* “Oh, before I start, are you allergic to…?” *trails off, jabs my gum anyway*

(Luckily, I WASN’T allergic to whatever she injected into me! It should be noted that I’m terrified of dentist visits to the point of phobia, and that didn’t help!)


Has Vroom For Improvement

| Eden Prairie, MN, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Language & Words

(A friend and I go to a bakery to get bagels. The cashiers asks for our name for the receipt. Both our names are foreign ones so we laugh at how they spell our names every time.)

Me: “Lemme see your receipt.”

Him: *laughing so hard* “Take a look at this.” *hands me the receipt*

Me: “Vroom? That’s just stupid. Do they assume you’re a race car or something?”


Single Word Score

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Coworkers, Language & Words

(I’m a manager in an office supply store. During slow times, the employees are permitted to chat back and forth as long as they are keeping busy at the same time. I happen to be up near the registers, sorting some containers, when a conversation starts up. I crack a joke, and one of my coworkers replies with this gem:)

Coworker: “Haha! That’s like something you’d have to look up in the Scrabble Book!”

Me: “The Scrabble Book? Are you talking about a dictionary?”

Coworker: “Oh! Yeah, the dictionary!”