Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: At cross purposes

Type: Anecdote

This anecdote from Jane Richards highlights the confusions that can arise with modern slang, innit.

Today a lovely (but loud) Chinese student asked for my help to apply for British Citizenship. He has lived in the country for some time and, despite his low level of English, he is quite a successful businessman. He entered Britain as an asylum seeker with very few resources, but after receiving indefinite leave to remain he has managed to open a Chinese restaurant, buy his own house, get married, have four children and he is looking to expand into other areas of business.

I’ve just spent £10,000 on a taxi.' Wei Wu shouted (he is extremely loud and highly animated).

'Oh, really?' said I, wishing Wei Wu would give up drinking Red Bull.

'Yes, it’s a lot of money for taxi.'

'And who is going to drive it?' I asked.

'What?' he yelled with a confused look on his face.

'The taxi.' By this point I was slightly worried that I may have been prying.

'No taxi, innit. I just paid my tax, see.'

Ah, I had forgotten his ticks of adding ‘see’ and ‘like’ and ‘innit’ to the end of every utterance. I had to laugh though, and then had to explain the misunderstanding to Wei Wu.

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