“My English Isn’t Well Today”: Using Wordplay to Laugh at Our Mistakes

“My English isn’t well today” is one of my favorite Czenglish mistakes. It never gets old.

Is your English sick? Why isn’t it in bed? Why don’t you make it some black tea? (The Czech cure, seemingly, for all problems.)


It’s just a stupid joke, but we have to laugh when we make silly mistakes. And these mistakes are often what makes wordplay such an effective form of humor in language.

Here’s an example:


dyslexic: someone who mixes up letters in their mind when they read

atheist: someone who doesn’t believe in god

insomniac: someone who can’t sleep at night


Jokes that use more than one meaning of a word are called puns. And they are my favorite kind of jokes.


“Bye, son!”


Probably needs no explanation.


to be a fan of something = to like and support something


mike = short for microphone


Jokes can also remind us that spelling, especially if you’re a non-native speaker of a language, is very important, and how easy it is to make mistakes when you’re not paying attention…

(Remember, spell checker doesn’t work at all if the word you’ve written is also actually a word.)





In translation:

I have a spelling checker

It came with my PC

It plainly marks for my review

Mistakes I cannot see.

I strike a key and type a word

And wait for it to say

Whether I am wrong or right,

It shows me straightaway.


And just to remind you that native speakers make silly mistakes too:


“There, there” means “It’s okay.”

Go forth into the dark winter world and be merry!

Christmas tree in the Ben Jelacic main square in Zagreb, Croatia



Categories CzenglishTags , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Travel on a side note

Observations made by an observant traveler

Adventures in Wonderland

a pilgrimage of the heart

Croissants & Conjugations

my year(s) teaching English in France

Stories I've Never Told...

(...and some I have)

Poetry Breakfast

Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.

Ben's Bitter Blog

"We make bitter better."

Public Room

Mengasah Rasa dan Bahasa


The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World

Expat Panda

A south african teacher's adventures in & out of the global classroom

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close