A Voice reporter was in a supermarket in Mogoditshane on Sunday afternoon when she overheard a comical conversation between two cashiers and two customers. The topic was on spoken languages and pronunciations.
Suit:(With a straight face) How much are your clitoris?
Cashier 1: Excuse me?
Suit: I said how much are the clitoris?
Cashier: Clitoris! I don’t understand!
The cashier on the next till starts giggling
Cashier 2: They are not called clitoris rra. If you are referring to the chewing gums, they are called Clorets.
Cashier 2: (Stifling laughter) Oh my… are you referring to the gum?
Suit: If I had said Clorets chappies you would not have had difficulty in understanding me. Why is it that black people like laughing at other people when they fail to pronounce English words like English people?
Cashier 2: An ordinary Motswana calls all chewing gum chappies, because probably it is the oldest gum brand. The same can be said about colgate, surf and checkers. We rarely hear anyone saying toothpaste, washing powder or plastic bag and it is normal. We all understand that kind of language, but as for clitoris! (Clapping hands in disbelief)
Cashier 1: It is wrong to laugh at other people and I agree with you, but some of the pronunciation can leave you in stitches. I was reading from facebook where somebody posted that if you were in a foreign country, you would know that somebody is a Motswana when they pronounce “screwdriver” as “school-driver”. I couldn’t stop laughing because it is very true. As for Agriculture, most of us pronounce it as Agrigulture!
Suit: (Laughs) Hey, you can’t give me all this amount of silver. Don’t you have notes!
Cashier 1: I am sorry sir, I only have coins.
The man walks out of the shop.
Cashier 2: That man is really old fashioned! It’s been long since I heard someone talking like that. Coins were called silver because they were made of silver but these days we have a mix of gold and silver coins. Did you give him only 50 and 25 Thebes?
Cashier 1: No. I am not even sure whether the other coins are made of gold. Next customer, please.
Customer 2: Is labouring allowed in this shop. I want to buy my child one of the bicycles but I do not have enough money.
Cashier 1: You mean lay-bye?
Customer 2: Exactly. (The two Cashiers exchange naughty glances) Is anything the matter?
Cashier 1: No. It is just that we had a difficult customer earlier. (The two cashiers giggle).