Rock and lock

In the Japanese language, there is an expression “暗礁に乗り上げる”, which literally means “be stranded on a reef,” and is used to signify a situation of being deadlocked.
Some Japanese people mistake “deadlock” for “reef” because both “lock” and “rock” are written in the same way, “ロック,” and use a wrong expression 「デッドロックに乗り上げる」, which literally means “run on a deadlock .” If you are talking with a Japanese person and hear him use this wrong expression, you can rightly imagine that he is confusing lock with rock; the difference of the two words in pronunciation is hard to be noticed among many Japanese people including me.


“people including me” should read “people, including me.”

Well, if one had reached the level of understanding the above Japanese sentences, one certainly wouldn’t be stranded on a reef… This reminds me of a former colleague who would always, instead of saying “that went down like a damp squib” (being of as much interest as a damp firecracker) say “that went down like a damp squid” (a sort of cuttlefish).