Staying Flexible

As we continue our American church sign series, we note that American churches often use their outdoor signs to announce scheduled events, share upcoming sermon topics, or give advice.  Happily for us, church employees often post clever messages and give passersby something to think about––or laugh at.  This week’s sign is repeated below from the full television episode.  Do you get what's so funny?


There is a list of famous blessings in the Bible called the Beatitudes.  (You can read all of them here.)  The basic format goes like this: Blessed are [the merciful] for they shall [be shown mercy].  (The old-fashioned use of “for” here means “because.”) The person who made up this church sign "blessing" created a new category: flexible people.

What's So Funny?    

This sign contains a play on the words.  Flexible people are able to bend with each situation.  The expression “get bent out of shape” means to become upset or angry.

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.