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Say What?

I cranked my lorry and pressed the petrol to the floor. The silencer was dodgy and it awoke the blokes from their kip. Knackered from a long fortnight I’d hoped to nick some kip myself but I needed to get to the Ironmonger when it opened. I passed over a sleeping policeman and the impact nearly cost me the dynamo. I was going too fast as I went through the Zebra Crossing, nearly hitting the Lollipop Man. He thought I was a nutter as he shouted, “Have ye lost the plot you muppet?” I didn’t slow down as I didn’t need an argy-bargy before brekky, which reminded me I’d be spawny to find a brekky sannie this early. A biscuit would be brilliant and a doodle in a hurry but it was a parky day and I had but a few bobs. I’d love to have petrol in the boot but the niff would make me chudder. I may run out and when I do it’s a Shank’s Pony for me. Nothing Heath Robinson about it…I’d be jammy to not become a cabbage on walkabout. It’s been yonks since I’ve yomped like a Wally!

Huh? British English is different from U.S. English in many ways. It’s been said we are an Empire and a country separated by a common language. Here’s the translation:

I cranked my truck and pressed the gas to the floor. The muffler was in bad shape and it awoke the guys from their sleep. I was tired from two long weeks and I’d hoped to steal some sleep myself but I had to get to the hardware store at opening time. I went over a speed bump and it nearly broke my generator. I was speeding as I went through a crosswalk and I almost hit the Crossing Guard. He thought I was crazy and he shouted, “Have you lost your mind you foolish man?” I kept going as I didn’t need an argument before breakfast, which reminded me I would be fortunate to find a breakfast sandwich at such an early time. A cookie would be great and easy in a hurry but the day was cold and I had little money. I would love to have a can of gas in the trunk of my car but the smell would make me throw up. I may run out of gas and if so it will mean a long walk over rough terrain. Nothing overly complicated about it…I’d be quite lucky if I didn’t turn into a slow person on a long walk. It’s been ages since I’ve hiked over rough ground like a total buffoon!

Ah, perfectly clear now!!!

It’s possible we speak the Gospel story, even our own unique faith stories, in a language other people cannot understand. It’s in English, but it’s in Church-English, or worse, in Baptist-Church-English. “Walking the Aisle to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb and to be Saved from being Lost,” would be alien to many/most seekers totally unfamiliar with church language. In the 21st Century it just might be best to speak the Gospel in the most common language possible. Straight-Up English is the best bet…even if you’re in the United Kingdom…where you want to make it an absolute Doodle, and never Heath Robinson!

Michael McCullar
Formations Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Faye Powers
    June 4, 2014 6:18 pm

    Michael, I have a question. How would you say,” Walking the Aisle to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb and to be Saved from being lost”, in Straight-Up English?

    Reply

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