Top Writing Examples?

With the great response from “O’Brian” in another forum (he’s working diligently to bring a piece of English prose to the required standard for consideration as a passage for some English teaching book in Taiwan), I’d like to know what is the most memorable sentence or passage you’ve encountered in your English teaching travels in Taiwan (in print, published).

My favorite encounter this week: a fill-in-the-blank answer with the first and last letters supplied, as usual. Now, what answer would the average native English speaker think of first?

The f_______g dog was going to bite me, so I threw a stone at it.

(For those who don’t have a second-year Taiwanese high school student handy, the answer is “frightening”! No, I mean that’s really the answer…)


Headline from the China Post (early-mid 1980s):

“Killer Fleas in Mountains”

The story was about a soldier who had killed some other soldiers and was hiding in the hills around Mucha. Scared the hell out of me…I had visions of 6’ tall mutant fleas…

My favourite’s the “insinnuendo” in New Interchange Book 1, Unit 6. I think a lot of you who’ve taught Interchange have caught this one.

Illustration of guy in passenger seat giving a sidelong approving glance at beefy driver, Keith:

Rod: You’re in great shape, Keith. Do you work out at a gym?
Keith: Yeah, I do. I guess I’m a real fitness freak.
Rod: So, how often do you work out?
Keith: Well, I do aerobics every day after work and then I play racketball.
Rod: Say, I like racketball too.
Keith: Oh, do you want to play sometime?
Rod: Uh…how well do you play?
Keith: Pretty well, I guess.
Rod: Well, alright. But I’m not very good.
Keith: No problem Rod. I won’t play too hard.

From the Taipei Times:

Jenny: I heard that artificial insemination is pretty expensive.

May: Not necessarily. I know someone who will give you some sperm for next to nothing.

I’ll have to look in the archives, but Tim Collins’ (RIP) books for Jordan’s (Use It Or Lose It) must take the award for blatant illiteracy and bizarre punctuation.

This one’s Japanese, and not related to teaching, but is still hilarious. Sorry if it’s not appropriate to post it here: