Do you know Spongebob?

Earlier today I shocked Slava and his wife by announcing that I didn’t know about Spongebob. I had heard several people talk about the cartoon but I had never seen it. Slava said it’s almost impossible that a person who grow up with a TV set in their home would know Spongebob. So here I’m putting the question to you: When and how were you introduced to Spongebob and what do you think of it/him? Also, what do you think of people who have never heard of Spongebob?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: The bride and groom[YSaerTTEW443543]

SpongeBob (SquarePants) is known as ‘Bob Esponja’ in Spain. It was shown on Spanish TV one or two years ago (perhaps more?). My daughter used to watch this cartoon, so I occasionally did, too. The first time I saw the little fellow I thought it was a piece of Emmental cheese! The show is original and funny in a quirky sort of way, though I must say I prefer The Simpsons.

Meaning ‘what do we think of you’? That’s a trap question if I ever saw one! I don’t think anyone (other than a child, perhaps) would judge you according to whether or not you know our little yellow sponge friend.

Hi Torsten,

I too am ignorant of what Conchita describes as ‘the little fellow’. All I can do is quote a ‘master’ of the language:

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know
We don’t know.


Aren’t there also ‘unknown knowns’? The ones we don’t know we know. :?


Hang on. You’ve lost me there! That would make it temporary amnesia or would it?
I don’t know. Now what was it you said? This is where I’m tempted to do a spot of emoticonning but … oh dear I’ve lost the thread again. Help, Rummie!


Who is Rummie?

My Google search was hopeless, unless it’s a hangover helper!


That’s the nickname for Donald Rumsfeld who was responsible for the ‘unknown’ quote.
Are you suggesting that I need help with a hangover? Oh dear here comes that emoticon temptation again - I’m smiling even smirking - promise.

Hi Torsten

The Internet (or to be more precise, Ms Google) first introduced me to SpongeBob.
I can’t really remember how that happened anymore.
But perhaps it was while I was looking for graphics or animated smilies. 8)

I’m in a state of shock over your incredibly late introduction to SpongeBob and his pals. :lol:

Better late than never, Amy :-). Why do you think this is Spongebob character so popular around the world?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: In the workshop[YSaerTTEW443543]

I have no idea why SpongeBob is so popular. But I was amused when I learned that many episodes take place in a mythical place called ‘Bikini Bottom’.

Did you know SpongeBob even has his own Wikipedia entry? :lol:

Did I mention the boxer shorts?

At any rate, a Valentine’s Day gift from a girlfriend introduced me to Spongebob Squarepants – red boxer shorts with Spongebob and hearts decorating them.


Hi Conchita, related in that mind I?d like to tell you that The Simpsons are my favorites, too. But there is one issue that makes me courious when I see them on TV. As there is: Many of the stories start with Bart repeating a sentence at the school board. Today Bart wrote: "I will not publish the principals credit report." As Barts voice is translated into German you can hear something like this: “I?m not allowed to…”

Now I wonder whether “I will not” might be an expression for a prohibition/inhibition one is binded to or more an expression for a forced promise the delinquent was required to give?

Can anybody bring some light into the dark? [size=75](I will not use expressions I never heard before. I will not use…) [/size]:slight_smile:


Hi Michael

Yes, the idea of ‘promise’ is right. I’d explain it this way:

Bart has done something wrong. He is then scolded and informed that he is not allowed to do such things. Then he has to promise never to do such a thing again. In addition, he also receives a punishment, and the punishment is that he has to write his promise 100 times (maybe more :lol:) on the blackboard:
“I will not publish the principal’s credit report.”

I suppose the idea behind this sort of punishment is also to help him remember his promise. (Whether or not that will be effective with Bart is another question entirely.) :lol:

One of the standard uses of the word ‘will’ is to make a promise.


Hi Amy!
Thanks for your explanation! Whatever I ask, you always give the right explanation in a pretty pleasant way.

Like you could see, that?s the point at which I feel familar with Bart. :wink: Just, I need to punish myself writing “I will not use…” :lol: But writing that a new question comes to my mind: In the sense of giving a promise, is it necessary to write the whole “I will/will not/never…” or could I also use “I?ll/I?ll not/never…”? I mean to spell or write the whole expression possibly could sound more serious, couldn?t it?


Hi Torsten!

I?m pretty delighted with your evaluating my improvement in the English. One of the basics of my success is/are your critique/s [size=75](countable noun?) [/size] :?

You?re perfectly right referring to usual expressions and idioms and also yes, I know/am aware of the “shed some light on…” idiom. But beside of all progress that I have made it unfortunately too often happens to me that I think what a German would think and try to translate my thoughts straightly rather than to use a more common English expression. Like in that case you referred to in your latter reply. Having a certain look on my own post I noticed that the above discribed adversity happened to me and instaed of deleting my mistake and substituting it for the correct (more usual) expression I rememberred your advice and gave the promise “I will not…” expecting the effect that Amy mentioned. :roll: Hope I?m not that much related to Bart Simpson. :slight_smile:

Continue critizising and correcting me, please!



P.S. What happened to your latter post?

Hi Michael

The thing with English and German is that you never know when a fairly direct translation will work. There are lots of similarities between the two languages, so sometimes the direct translations work out. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of times that they don’t.

Your “bring some light into the dark” was quite understandable even though it’s not a “typical” expression in English. So, that was one of those situations where a native English speaker probably wouldn’t notice anything “wrong” – BUT if they knew German, they’d recognize the direct translation. :lol:

You can ask someone to ‘shed/cast some light on’ something, or possibly to ‘enlighten’ you.

By the way, in your last post, you should change ‘straightly’ to ‘directly’ and you should use ‘last’ instead of ‘latter’. :wink:


Hi Michael, I think translating from German into English is OK as long as you are aware of it. You have to keep a balance between using ‘English phrases and expressions’ and creating your ‘own’ sentences. It seems to me that you have been able to raise your awareness for the fact that it’s always easier to read and understand ‘correct English sentences’ than it is to create them. Bottom line: You are on the right track with your program and I’m sure you will become even more confident in using your English.

PS: I have removed my previous post because Amy said exactly what I wanted to say but she did it much better than me.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A veterinarian[YSaerTTEW443543]


What does “Jah wol” (or “wohl” or however it’s spelled) mean?

“Yah vole” is how I pronounce it… hope that’s right.

Hi Tom, it means “yes”, “yes Sir!”, “aye, aye”, “alright”… Why are you asking?
By the way, it’s spelled “jawohl” (ja + wohl: yes + well)[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Girls shopping[YSaerTTEW443543]

I’ve just always wondered what it meant. I’ve heard it spoken in several movies… seems usually to be spoken as an afterthought, or as an answer to a command. (I know that “ja” means “yes”)