PLEASE NOTE

This blog goes on under a different name and new web address from January 2011. Please follow me...

Beyond the Lone Islands

http://dawntreader-island2.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Serious Question About Jokes

I have a question for all you British, American and Australian friends. Do jokes/puns based on the words sheep and cheap really work in English??? This television ad for a phone company has been running for months. And I'm getting curiouser and curiouser as to whether it's funny or even understandable to anyone except a Swede with a really bad concept of English pronounciation.

7 comments:

rae said...

I understood it, but I am not amused by the pronunciation.

It's a tricky commercial, isn't it? Pronunciation aside, they're using sheep, which are usually a metaphor for blindly following without thought.

Also, it's just too much to try to marry an independent thinker with a telecom company. Extreme irony.

Scriptor Senex said...

Sheep and cheap doesn't in my view!

GB said...

Sorry. I don't see the connection at all (but living in Scotland and New Zealand I do see a LOT of sheep!).

DawnTreader said...

Interesting. Tejas friend understands but not amused. British friends see no connection. I'd really love some more comments on this. Three people is probably not quite enough for statistical conclusion that Americans are more apt to "get it" than the British...

Personally I groan inwardly every time I hear it, because in my opinion, it's not likely to help Swedish children learning English to get the pronounciation of the sh/ch-sounds right...

We have both sounds in our language, too, but with different spelling rules. So when learning English, some people/children have problems getting it right.

Well, GB. If you should ever happen to meet a Swedish tourist talking about "a lot of cheap", now you know.

GB said...

First I have to meet a Swedish tourist! When I had the Pottery that might have been more likely. Now I think not.

Stephen said...

I can't comment directly on the ad, because my computer is too old and resource-poor to watch such things, plus I have a dial-up connection, which doesn't help at all. However, I can say that puns can be made on words that have no similarities in meaning, and it's possible to make a humorous pun on cheap and sheep if it's done right.

In the United States, we have a gecko, a small lizard, doing ads for the Geico insurance company. In the early ads he kept complaining that people kept calling him up, thinking he was the insurance company, and he would say, "I'm a gecko, not Geico!" Now he's works for the company, and is known as the "Gecko from Geico."

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
http://stephen-has-spoken.blogspot.com/

DawnTreader said...

Thank you for that addition, Stephen. I read somewhere that the telecom company with the cheap sheep had their commercials (there is a series of them starring the same sheep) made in the US...

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Make the hidden word visible! Stay and play a game of Hangman.

There was an error in this gadget