Today, students heard a lecture about the pyramids. We marked their notes. Here's some stuff I bet you didn't know.
'Biggest pyramid was seven miles high.'
Right. That's getting on for three miles higher than Everest. Today in a tutorial, a Chinese student asked me to explain what critical thinking is. Pity I did not have this to hand at the time.
'Pyramids were banned by biological government.'
Maybe she meant... no, can't be arsed.
'They were built by scrimes and buddows'
Well, weren't they?
'The Egypt people used to put food and furniture in their bum'
Must have been sighs of relief all round when they finally packed that in, then, arf arf. But for bum read tomb, and it becomes boringly logical. The student obviously knew neither word, and rendered it phonetically as best s/he could. Pity we can't award marks for ingenuity and entertainment value. Lest you think I'm being superior and mocking, I should point out how entertainingly ludicrous these students find my attempts at Chinese.
The population of the city where I work is 50% non-British in origin, and this must explain the obliviousness of British demotic demonstrated in the names people chose for their businesses. Why else would anyone call their shop The BS Off-License? Would anybody with any knowledge of queer slang open a fast food outlet and call it The Chicken Cottage? It's probably pure provincialism that lies behind Le Petit Four Francais (no cedilla) a caff that does English fry-up breakfasts and sarnies traditionelles au bacon, sauce ketchup tomate.