Some people don’t believe that proper pronunciation is all that important for good communication. If you are one of them, please consider the following examples of how mispronunciation may get you in some hilarious, unpleasant, and even dangerous situations:
The Airport Case
Mr. X and his wife, both in their thirties, were victims of a pickpocket at the airport. They went to the police station to report the crime, but instead of getting their stolen documents and money back, Mister X was held in custody and Mrs. X had a really awkward conversation with a social worker. Apparently, Mr. X reported that his wife was thirteen years old.
Imagine Mr. X in a restaurant ordering a bowl of soup. After giving him a confused look, the kind waitress directs him to a store across the street. He obviously didn’t make a distinction between a bowl of soup and a ball of soap.
Christmas is a time for giving. Our Mr. X is a CEO of a company with 200 employees. He was sitting in his office, trying to understand what went wrong with the speech he gave to his co-workers a few moments ago – all of them gave him a cold shoulder after he proudly announced that the company prepared supplies for each and every one of them.
After asking a simple question, John and Jane Doe stormed out of their parenting consultant’s office, leaving Mrs. X completely baffled! They wanted to know whether they should use warm milk or porridge to help their baby fall asleep – she told them that ether would do the trick
Mr. X didn’t know what to think about his new neighbors – he arrived that morning to an apartment he has just bought, had a brief conversation with the cheerful middle-aged couple next door. After his first sentence, they suddenly bowed their heads, started talking in low and sad voice, asking about his health, offering their help with anything… He wasn’t sure what changed their mood so suddenly – all he said was: “Hello, my name is MR. X, I came here to die and…”
Our next fictitious situation takes us to a chemistry lab. What do you think would happen if a professor with bad pronunciation would ask of his students to test the chloric acid? One possible outcome might be an infirmary full of patients with acid burns from tasting the foul smelling and highly corrosive liquid.
Do you have any other examples of bad pronunciation gone awry? Please, feel free to add them in comments!
Leave a Reply