Articles, Planely Speaking

Passenger: “Excuse me, sir.”

Gate Attendant: “Yes?”

Passenger: “Did I hear that airport announcement correctly?”

Gate Attendant: “Which one?”

Passenger: “The one that said I had to keep my articles close to me at all times.”

Gate Attendant: “Yes, sir, that’s correct.”

Passenger: “Is that definite?”

Gate Attendant: “What? The rule?”

Passenger: “No. The articles.”

Gate Attendant: “They look pretty definite to me.”

Passenger: “Right. They speak English on this plane?”

Gate Attendant: “Yeah …?”

Passenger: “Well, how the hell am I supposed to do without definite articles, if I have to keep them close to me rather than giving them out?”

Gate Attendant: “I beg your pardon?”

Passenger: “I go around pointing at things and saying ‘drink’ and ‘peanuts’ and ‘air sickness bag’, stuff like that, instead of ‘the air sickness bag’ like I’m supposed to, people will think I’m into my second childhood!”

Gate Attendant: “Are you quite sure you’ve left your first, sir?”

Passenger: “I suppose I could pretend I’m Hawaiian and speaking pidgin, but if I talk to folk about ‘one car’, they’ll think I’m broke. ‘One wife’, and they’ll think I’m a disappointed bigamist. If al Qaeda’s got this terminal wired for sound, their guys are sitting in their caves and laughing their heads off. I ask you, is this any way to run an airline?”

Gate Attendant: “Perhaps you’d care for a demonstration, sir. Security …”

Yeah. You might say Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba is experiencing a certain, ah, sufficiency of airplanes and airports. As he sits in an airport writing this. Almost home …

35 thoughts on “Articles, Planely Speaking

    • Sorry, Mocha, I was thinking “grammar” the whole time. Besides, Quilly wouldn’t thank me if I disturbed her blog’s G rating.

  1. I don’t get it either !

    I tried to catch up on your blog but there is so much to read, what happened to you are you exploding ?
    .-= Gattina´s last blog .. =-.

  2. Ah, Gattina, I need to send you to your local old-book seller for James Thurber’s “Ladies and Gentlemens Guide to Modern English Usage”. Here’s an example.

    You’ll pretty much have to catch up on my doings through Quilly. I don’t blog much any more, too busy actually working.

    • So tell me, Nicole – is everyone who uses a cell phone a criminal? I wonder what life is like for the poor sods who drive the trucks that deliver Planters products.

        • Nicole, the Planters corporation in America is a major processor and seller of groundpeas, almonds, cashews, etc. etc. So the teamsters who operate their lorries drive people …

  3. wow, was this an actual dialogue?
    this couldn’t have happened had the conversation been in my language – our nouns don’t have articles
    .-= polona´s last blog ..passage =-.

    • No, Polona, this dialogue is a work of fiction. Otherwise I might very well have wound up in Nicole’s cell. As for articles, the Asian languages have the same problem.

    • Me? Make trouble? Why would I bother? Unless I can sell it at a profit. You can help me locate a copy of the Ladies and Gentlemens Guide for Gattina.

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