Hu's On First

Hu’s On First

This is a picture of Taiwanese-born Chin-lung Hu standing on first base.  Mr. Hu played Major League Baseball in the U.S. from 2007-2011.  If Americans were describing the action of this game, they would say, “Hu’s on first.”

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers

What’s So Funny?

There is a famous comedy routine from the 1940s by the American duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.  It is called Who’s On First?  Most Americans who follow baseball know (and love!) this routine.  It is very clever and very funny.   We talked about it in one of our early shows. In a nutshell, the six-minute routine deals with miscommunication about a player (named Who) who is playing the first base position. Costello asks “Who’s on first?” and Abbott replies, “Yes,” which confuses Costello.

You can view the routine here, and you can read our full explanation here.


Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.