Four Candles or Fork Handles?

Sharing a language never guarantees understanding. Expectation is key. But it’s hard to know what to expect, when you work in a shop that sells a little of everything:

© Sing Better English, 2016

6 thoughts on “Four Candles or Fork Handles?”

  1. so funny!
    We still have some shops like that and even characters like them as well! Make a list, go inside, start asking for the items, you’ll see how they pop out of nowhere, and you’ll get free advice too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Long may they survive! They’re like little encyclopedias of possibility, in human form. Is there still a little shop in Braga where they sell knitting supplies and fishing/hunting equipment together? Or have I misremembered it.


  2. Ha ha hahaaahaaaaa! This is so funny — I have no idea how they got through the whole bit with a (more-or-less) straight face. As hilarious as it is, though, it reminds me of what a difficult task learners of English as a second language face. It’s not for the faint of heart, is it? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True – though I’ve read that Ronnie Barker (the customer) wrote the sketch based on his fascination with the English language and with the comic possibilities of homophones. So he was probably concentrating hard to make his technical progress through the piece. Concentration and long-learned scripts are invisible in good comedy, aren’t they?

      So much English humour is based on the double meanings and multiple possibilities hidden inside our words. All the way back to Shakespeare and beyond. But yes, it’s a minefield for second-language learners.

      I can’t remember much comedy from the US – does it depend as much on double meanings and word play?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, sure — a lot of the classic comedy in the U.S. revels in double meanings and word play. (If you’re not familiar with Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first?” it’s worth a Google.) But the more contemporary stuff — maybe the past 10 or 20 years? — is less in that vein, I think. With the possible exception of Weird Al Yankovic. He’s my all-time word play hero. (Well, after Shakespeare, anyway …)


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