Funny Grammatical and Colloquial Mistakes

The English language is a hard language to learn. I would know, since it's my second language. But it has become the lingua franca of the world, and most of us are forced to use it on a daily basis.

With so many people learning to use English as second-language, it's only inevitable that we come across hilarious grammar and colloquial errors. I got inspired to collect such mistakes from a similar list made by Alan Fletcher in his book, The Art of Looking Sideways. Ever since that book, I have been on the lookout for this unintended humour. So here are the funniest ones that I have found so far.

Han Han Commodity Factory
— The name stamped on an ironing board, made in China.

An ironing board is the most essential of needs in every human being's life.

Can I - Eliminate the need to use my hands?
— Hand safety poster at a company I interned with.

I wish I could. I really do. It keeps me awake at night, the obsessive need to use my hands.

Nadal High On Grass
Headlines Today, on Rafael Nadal winning his career’s first grass tournament.

Now we know how he wins all those tournaments.

Frost Over the World
— Title of the talk show hosted on Al Jazeera International by David Frost.

It sounds like a post-apocalypse news segment after a disastrous climate event.

The plans will be fleshed out in the mayor’s youth strategy to help tackle social breakdown, due in November.
— Newspaper article, September 30th 2008

Thanks to the mayor's diligent work, the impending social breakdown of society was quickly thwarted.

Providing low-income families in emerging economies with catastrophic healthcare.
— University email.

This is the only type of universal healthcare that you will ever get.

All of our cleaners are from Philippines. All our Maids are insured and bonded, therefore you don’t need to worry about them.
— Online advertisement for a cleaning service.

Nothing better than bonded labour. That way they can't run away.

ABC Maid Service will help you solve your house problems in terms of cleaning.
— Online advertisement for a cleaning service.

I wish ABC Maid Service would help me with my loveless marriage and shit-caked children. (Name of company changed.)


  1. I didn't realise that English was your second language. That's testament to your ability.

    Also, Engrish.com is a great site for this kind of stuff.

    1. Thank you Addman :)

      And that website is hilarious! I could spend my whole day there.

  2. Bonded maids are my favourite kind...eh...yes!

    I am trying to improve my English but sometimes I just get so discombobulated between German and English my brain just explodes!

    1. Ooh naughty, ahahaha.

      Yeh, I'm trying to improve my English too. I am pretty fluent in it, but I've noticed recently that my vocab is sorely lacking. So I'm trying to learn as many new words as I can.

  3. I think I want me some of that catastrophic health care.

    1. Catastrophic healthcare... better than no healthcare!

      — future political slogan