I saw this today (see http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/should-isle-of-man-work-permit-holders-be-made-to-speak-english-1-6474791 )and cracked up laughing.
It's not just the idea of
Peter Karran (nice guy, but not the most articulate man on the island
– and probably even the least articulate in the House of Keys)
saying anyone needs to learn English. It's not even the usual mongoloid mutters
of support from semi-literates married to their cousins.
Story 1 –
a lady, not from here, works as a voluntary literacy tutor on
arriving on the island while waiting for job offers to come in. She
applies for a government position teaching English as a Foreign
Language and gets a written reply saying they want a native English
speaker. It's so full of spelling and grammatical errors that for the
next year she uses it to teach her Manx born pupils. This gets back
to some local teachers, who mention that at least two Manx Education
Ministers, even in their careers, have been blacklisted from
presenting Speech Day prizes because they had such limited vocabulary
that young kids would snigger.
Story 2 – me
and same lady in Ramsey Co-op a few years back, chatting in Manx to
the late Freddie Cowle – last of the original Manx language
teachers and then very close to death. A local bigot behind starts
grumbling to his wife on the lines of 'If you can't speak the
language...' With a straight face, this lady asks Freddie (in fluent
Manx) 'Do you think he knows there's a boat in the morning?'
doubles up with laughter. From his wife (a personal friend) I happen
to know this was the last good laugh he had before he died soon
after, because he was still laughing about it when he got home and
she asked him what the big joke was.
Story 3 – Me
and a carload of Hungarians passing through Randolph Quirk's
birthplace, Cronk-y-Voddy. As we go along the straight, the whole
carload, in true 'Wayne's World' style, are screaming 'We're not
worthy, we're not worthy' at the tops of our voices while trying to
bow in homage towards Lambsfell. Luckily there were no other cars
is only for English language academics and my European readers in
particular. Nobody under the age of 50 on the Isle of Man would
understand the joke.
Which is what makes it twice as funny.
2 years ago