KudoZ home » English » Art/Literary

We don't want to turn off Mr. and Mrs. America

English translation: The average American couple. . .

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
04:19 Jan 21, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: We don't want to turn off Mr. and Mrs. America
An estate agent is doing an open house for a gay owner who has AIDS. She took the things out of the wall and the shelf saying that she doesn’t want the house to smell gays.

“I hope I didn’t offend you, Fabian” She said
“My name is Fabio” answered the gay owner
“Fabio – Sorry. These open houses make me a nervous wreck. But business is business; we don’t want to turn off Mr. and Mrs. America”

I don’t understand the word “nervous wreck” and “we don’t want to turn off Mr. and Mrs. America”

Thank you for your help
Buttercup
English translation:The average American couple. . .
Explanation:
. . .expected to visit the open house. The average American couple is expected to be somewhat homophobic.

A nervous wreck is someone who is about to collapse due to nervous tension.


Fuad

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-21 04:27:20 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

To turn people off means to cause them to be less interested or uninterested (in the house, in this case).
Selected response from:

Fuad Yahya
Grading comment
Thank you very much
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
5 +13The average American couple. . .
Fuad Yahya
4 +10In plainspeak
Arthur Borges
5 +5we don´t want......
Allison Menditto
5 +1We do not want to offend the average American couple.
xxxIno66
4 +1middle-class bigots
Mike Birch
1 +3we don't want the everyday American to feel uncomfortable
RHELLER
3we wouldn't want to purposely offend the average middle class couple
Jonathan MacKerron


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +3
we don't want the everyday American to feel uncomfortable


Explanation:
-

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-21 04:24:05 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

a nervous wreck is someone who is feeling very stressed (high anxiety)

HTH

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 05:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1252

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rusinterp
34 mins
  -> thanks

agree  xxxOso: ¶:^)
1 hr

agree  nanamj
328 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +13
The average American couple. . .


Explanation:
. . .expected to visit the open house. The average American couple is expected to be somewhat homophobic.

A nervous wreck is someone who is about to collapse due to nervous tension.


Fuad

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-21 04:27:20 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

To turn people off means to cause them to be less interested or uninterested (in the house, in this case).

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893
Grading comment
Thank you very much

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio
7 mins

agree  cillegio
25 mins

agree  Rusinterp
34 mins

agree  Marie Scarano
2 hrs

agree  Tanja Abramovic
3 hrs

agree  Jacqueline van der Spek
4 hrs

agree  jerrie: Or we don't want to put them off of buying
4 hrs

agree  Steffen Walter
5 hrs

agree  xxxluisantos
5 hrs

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
10 hrs

agree  Nancy Arrowsmith
10 hrs

agree  Vanessa Marques
1 day 17 hrs

agree  nanamj
328 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
we don´t want......


Explanation:
"nervous wreck" is a common expression we say when we feel really nervous. It is like saying I´m nervous and out of control, although we wouldn´t say it like that.
¨
"we don´t want to turn off Mr. and Mrs. America"
"to turn sombody off" means that that person is no longer interested.
"Mr. and Mrs. America" is a metaphore referring to the average, stereotypical American couple who is against gays, which in this case would come to see and possibly buy the house.
So, the sentence means that she doesn´t want the typical American couple to loose interest in buying the house due to the fact that the owners are gay.

Does that help?

Allison Menditto
Local time: 07:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tim Drayton: I don't really think there are any homophobic conotations here.
7 mins
  -> there are obvious homophobic conontations, if not, why would she take down the pictures and clear the shelves? She obviously thinks that Mr. and Mrs. America are homophobic.

agree  Arthur Borges: Agree: the homophobic connotations are GLARING. Her idiolect shows she is anti-gay herself (see below) and, like most ego-centered people, imagines everybody is like her. Sorry Tim :-)
15 mins
  -> thank you Arthur

agree  cillegio: I understand this as a anti-guy also. Cheers.
20 mins
  -> thank you Orhan

agree  LaCat: Oh yes, she appears VERY homophobic...:(
25 mins
  -> thanks LeCat

agree  Rusinterp
28 mins
  -> thanks Rusinterp

agree  Tanja Abramovic
3 hrs

agree  Christopher Crockett: Agree with Arthur: the subject of the conversation is the "fact" (as perceived by the agent) that gay artifacts lying about the house would scare off potential WASP [=White Anglo-Saxon Protestant] buyers.
12 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +10
In plainspeak


Explanation:
Mr & Mrs America = the average American couple/housebuyer likely to hate homosexuals

To turn on = to excite sexually
To turn off = to alienate

What she's saying is:

"I don't want to lose customers because of your socially offensive sexual preferences which anybody can see from the little dolls and other things you decorate your house with."

That she says "smell" and doesn't or won't remember his name correctly clearly imply she dislikes homosexuals herself.

As explained, a "nervous wreck" is someone so fragile and vulnerable that s/he will explode into anger or tears over very minor events. In this context, she is only saying that she finds "open house" receptions very stressful events that overtax her patience.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-21 04:41:46 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Presumably, Fabio is only hosting this event because he and/or his partner want to sell the house.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-21 05:31:31 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Incidentally, \"turn off\" also means \"to cause to lose amorous interest\" -- also sly sarcasm.

Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 20:26
PRO pts in pair: 23

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  eldira: plainspeak is definitely more cogent
10 mins
  -> Only more explicit in this case, I admit.

agree  cillegio
12 mins

agree  Rusinterp
20 mins

agree  Tanja Abramovic
3 hrs

agree  Steffen Walter: most lucid explanation :-)
5 hrs
  -> I try.

agree  Lesley Clayton
5 hrs

agree  vixen: very clear explanation
11 hrs
  -> I keep trying.

agree  Christopher Crockett: All well and good, Arthur, and "ideolect" is a fine, 6 bit word.
12 hrs
  -> Now why did I want the letters to rhyme with "idiot"?

agree  Vanessa Marques
1 day 17 hrs

agree  savannah: yes, this explains it best
8 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
middle-class bigots


Explanation:
nervous wreck = stressed out.
I hope that the homophobic attitudes of 'Mr and Mrs America' are not regarded as 'everyday' or 'average'.
On the contrary this refers surely to white middle-class right-wingers associated with bigotry that has no place in the contemporary world: more caricature than stereotype.

Mike Birch
Local time: 12:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 15

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Christopher Crockett: And, as Arthur has pointed out, the real estate agent is, herself, a bigot. And a hypocrite.
1 hr

neutral  Jonathan MacKerron: "bigots" is too strong here
1 day 22 hrs

neutral  Arthur Borges: Sorry to dash your hopes, but in the USA they still lynch gays now and then to round out a Friday or Saturday night o' clean fun 'n' hard drinkin'.
3 days 9 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
We do not want to offend the average American couple.


Explanation:
"Nervous wreck" has been more than adequately explained above.

xxxIno66
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek
PRO pts in pair: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rusinterp
11 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 days 4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
we wouldn't want to purposely offend the average middle class couple


Explanation:
to steer away from "charged" language

Jonathan MacKerron
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 615
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search