Monday, April 05, 2010

Excuse Me, Are You A Property Agent? (21)

I received an sms from a cobroking agent of my client's rental apartment.

"Choo, what is the meaning of "Next week, I will touch base with you?"

As I was somewhat busy on the move, I replied when I had the chance to sit down for my early dinner, or you might call it late lunch.

Later, when I met up with John to view my client's apartment, he looked somewhat relieved. "Choo, you took a while to reply my sms. I was so worried. I thought "touch base with me" means "touch my bottom!" I could not resist laughing aloud. John, a tall and handsome agent, certainly had grounds for his paranoia because his client is an effiminate fashion designer.!

I explained to John about some of the complexities of the English Language with its many idiomatic expressions. For example when we say "raining dogs and cats" it means raining heavily.

"Aiya, why can't my client just say to meet up with me than to use such "cheem" (Hokkien for profound) language as "touch base". I asked my colleagues and nobody seemed to know the meaning. I encouraged John that at least that day, he learnt a new phrase in English.

Though John may not be linguistically equipped, nevertheless, he works with diligence and integrity. However, it would be good if he and many other agents would continue to improve in their English Language as it is an equally important tool to help them close deals.

Gan Cao

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