Usage Gaffes

What is your favorite written or spoken gaffe made by your students?

Tonight’s winner:

“My government spends a lot of money to build pubic transportation.”

–Pubic transportation? Is this yet another euphemism for having a shag?

Last week’s favorite:

“We should take care of our lovers, expecially our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.”

—A very close family indeed!

This is not meant to be mean-spirited. I respect anyone trying to learn a foreign language. My students also have a good laugh at their own errors.

Have any of you ever tried to politely preface a question in Mandarin and ended up asking for a make-out session? I once mispronounced “raised bridge” as “orgasm.” Seems I instructed the taxi driver to take the orgasmic route.