When you’re in you’re out

English words on a carwash near us

Although the game of cricket isn’t especially popular in France, brushing up on your English certainly is. We both volunteer with neighbors and adult students who want to make conversation in that foreign language they first learned back in middle school but probably haven’t had much opportunity to practice with since then. The BBC is a source that I often consult for classroom ideas and on their Learning English Blog I found the funny and confusing “The Rules of Cricket as Explained to a Foreign Visitor”. It starts with, “Each man that’s in the side that’s in, goes out, and when he’s out, he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out.”

How’s that for an explanation? The words themselves wouldn’t be difficult to translate but the meaning behind them is another story. Once our English classes start up again, I might use the Covid lockdown as a means of clarification…or perhaps to muddy the waters even further. During this period of confinement it’s OK to travel to/from work, or to go food shopping, but everyone is generally otherwise supposed to stay home. For the students I could start with, “When you’re IN you’re OUT of trouble but when you’re OUT you could be IN trouble.” Seems clear to me. I can’t wait until we discuss baseball and we can use the Abbott and Costello skit, “Who’s on First”!

The Walkway of the English (La Promenade des Anglais) in Nice

In Carcassonne, as in many communities around the country, a mask is required any time that you leave home. The newspaper reported that a survey showed that 60% of the people in France admitted to not following the lockdown rules despite a first-time fine of 135 € that increases with further offenses. Bill and I are part of that “boring” 40% going food shopping only as necessary, politely declining invitations for drinks and/or dinner and sticking with staying home. After all, when you’re in you’re out!

BBC rules of cricket: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/learningenglish/2011/09/howzat.shtml

Who’s on First skit: https://www.baseball-almanac.com/humor4.shtml

3 thoughts on “When you’re in you’re out

  1. We’re in that 40% too and limiting our visits to buy groceries and other necessities. Our experience in this part of Paris is that even when a French person is wearing a mask, their nose is “out” not “in.” So disturbing to us! We live in Paris in a quaint little section of the 7th where most of our shopping is in individually owned businesses. I went to my butcher last week and his shop was closed with this sign on the door: “Fermee (COVID).” Not surprisingly, he’s been a nose “out” during the entire mandatory mask period. “IN” and “OUT” really do matter these days!

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