Explain these phrases. How would you describe the different type of humour used in each? Do you know any similar ones that can be translated from your own language?

(to return to the speech)

…as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted.

…to return to my original point.

…anyway. What was I saying? All these three are respectable, formal ways of returning to a subject after being interrupted.

(to tell someone to go away)

You! Off my planet! Implies that you are the owner of the planet. ‘Off’ in this context means ‘to go away.’

 If I throw a stick, will you leave! Here you are comparing the heckler to a dog.

(to deal with hecklers)

Look, I’ve got ten minutes up here to make a fool of myself; you’ve got the rest of your life. So shut up! In this example you are saying that you are being an idiot at the moment, but that the heckler is permanently one.

I don’t know what your problem is, but I bet it’s hard to pronounce. This is a common type of ‘put-down’ amongst native English speakers, but would sound particularly effective on the lips of a foreigner who doesn’t have perfect pronunciation.

Any connection between your reality and mine, is purely coincidental. This is a very philosophical type of put-down that implies that the heckler is deluded or lives in a dream world.

I see that you have set aside the time to humiliate yourself in public. Another smart, sarcastic line.

(to a male heckler)

Not all men are annoying….some are dead. A very anti-male one this. And why not? The battle of the sexes has seen much action at Speaker’s Corner.

I’m trying to imagine you with a personality. This sarcastic remark could be used for male or female hecklers alike.

I like to make my speech the way that you have sex…… alone! A classic smart-Alec remark that usually gets a laugh.

(to a female heckler)

Hey don’t interrupt me! This is my job. I don’t come to the place where you work, and jump on the bed! The speaker is, of course, implying that the woman is a prostitute. There are plenty of other alternative endings to this phrase, most too vulgar to mention.