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第27课 THE MESSAGE

2006-07-29 10:21

  Yesterday, Nora asked Jane: “Where you off?” This is incorrect. “Where are you going?” is the correct form here. A more informal alternative is: “Where are you off to?”

  Jane has received a message on her answering machine that she doesn't understand. She asks Mei Ling for some help.

  Jane: OK. I need some help here.

  Mei Ling: What's wrong?

  Jane: I got this message on the answering machine and it's a little unclear.

  Mei Ling: Let's have a listen.

  They play the message.

  Man: Yah. Hello. I am ringing from the office now and would ring back later. But, I am requesting for some brochures because I have got goats to sell in Malaysia. I hope you can help me, lah…… I err…… I think I would ring back later. Or you ring me, lah. OK. Bye.

  Mei Ling: I see what you mean.

  Jane: I don't know what he wants us to do.

  Mei Ling: Let's start from the beginning again.

  They replay a part of the message.

  Man: Yah. Hello. I am ringing from the office now……

  Jane: Where is his office?

  Mei Ling: He doesn't say, does he?

  Man: ……and would ring back later.

  Jane: And why can't he ring back later?

  Mei Ling: People here think saying “would” is more polite.

  Jane: Oh! Let's try the next bit.

  They replay the next part of the message.

  Man: But, I am requesting for some brochures because I have got goats to sell in Malaysia.

  Jane: Requesting for?

  Mei Ling: He wants some brochures but I didn't pick up what for.

  They replay some of the message again.

  Man: ……brochures because I have got goats to sell in Malaysia.

  Mei Ling: Sounds like “goats to sell in Malaysia.”

  Jane: Can't be. Must be a hotel in Malaysia. He wants to sell a hotel.

  Mei Ling: Sounds like “goats” to me.

  They replay the last part of the message.

  Man: I hope you can help me, lah…… I err…… I think I would ring back later. Or you ring me, lah. OK. Bye.

  Jane: How are we supposed to ring him back? He didn't leave his number.

  Mei Ling: Maybe he'll ring us later. You know, I bet he does have goats to sell.

  Jane: What?

  Mei Ling: Wrong number?

  Jane: We'll have to wait and see.

  Narrator: When leaving a message it is important that your message is clear. That message would lead to no action being taken.

  When you leave a message, leave your details, your name and phone number at least. And make it clear what you want the person to do. Do you want them to call you or e-mail you or will you call them back?

  Another problem our mystery caller had was this……

  Replay……

  Man: But, I am requesting for some brochures because I have got goats to sell in Malaysia.

  Narrator: The word “request” is very formal and should never be followed by the word “for”。 “I am requesting some brochures” is good English. “Can you send me some brochures?” is just as polite and a lot more natural.

  Whether he sells his goats or not, we may never find out.

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