Communication Breakdown

Language is a tricky thing. What you’re trying to say isn’t always what the other person ends up hearing. And if you’re speaking extemporaneously on television, the odds of your words being misinterpreted by someone quickly approach 100%. Here’s a few examples of recent statements that have been taken in different ways by different people:

Rep. Joe Wilson (R – S.C.)
Verbatim Quote: “You lie!”

Dictionary Translation: “You are knowingly issuing false statements.”

MSNBC Translation: “Kill niggers!”

Fox News Translation: “I am a patriot and a genius!”

Soviet Disco Translation: “Freeeeeeebirrrrrrddd!!!!”

Kanye West
Verbatim Quote: “I’m ’a let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!”

Dictionary Translation: “I feel that this award should rightly have gone to a different nominee.”

Caucasian Fan of Shitty Pop Music Translation: “I love to punch Girl Scouts in the face!”

African-American Fan of Shitty Pop Music Translation: “MTV doesn’t care about black people!”

Soviet Disco Translation: “Hey, remember me, America? I still exist! Pay attention to me!!! I was never breast-fed!”

Papa Smurf
Verbatim Quote: “Well, if you smurfs get the smurfing done on these smurfs in time for the smurfage, we’ll all get to smurf it up quite smurfly!”

Dictionary Translation: N/A

Brainy Smurf Translation: “I’m Papa Smurf, and I say Brainy is the best smurf, because Brainy most embodies the qualities that Papa Smurf admires in a smurf, and I’m Papa Smurf!”

Mad Libs Translation: “Well, if you boners get the farting done on these neuticles in time for the fartage, we’ll all get to crap it up quite fartly!”

Soviet Disco Translation: “Doctor Handsome, I command you to shoot random couples in parked cars with a snub-nosed revolver.”


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