“English is a funny language,” when Amitabh Bachchan’s character said this in the 1982 Bollywood blockbuster Namak Halal, he was not lying. Now, a TikTok video creator is cracking up the internet by presenting the funny nature of the lingua franca. A comedian with username stage_door_johnny on TikTok and Instagram regularly posts short but funny conversations with himself in which he asks himself about particular word usages and then reacts to their weirdness.
In a recent viral Instagram Reel of his, he can be seen asking himself about a word for a route that connects two points. “A road,” his other character replies. “Great! That was easy,” he sounds relieved. Interestingly, soon his other character points out that if it has buildings on it, it will be called a street. “And if it has got trees, call it an avenue.” Now, he looks a little confused, “Trees as well as buildings?” The other character replies, “Either. Both.” He asks again that he thought a road with buildings was a street. “Or an avenue,” his other character replies. He looks still trying to figure it out when his other character adds, “if it is narrow, call it a lane, and if it is wide, call it a boulevard.” “Is that French?” he asks. “Yes,” the other character replies and remembers to add another French word, “if the road ends in a dead-end, I want to call it a cul-de-sac.” Impressed by the new fancy word, he asks what it means, to which, the other character replies, “the a*se of the bag.” Outraged by the offensive word, he argues, “you cannot call it that.” His other character yells, “the a*se of the bag!”
Netizens are finding the video hilarious. A user commented, “I just laughed so hard that I spat on my phone.” Another Instagram user thanked the comedian for introducing him to it. A linguistics-enthusiast user found the funny challenge relatable. They wrote, “my clients often laugh at me too. But for the wrong reasons.”
What is your experience with the bizarreness of the English language?