It's a real riot, not being wasteful.

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chopin7

Senior Member
Albanian
Hello

It's this movie "Big Fan".
There is this guy making fun of his mom because she collects sauce packets.

And mother says "It's a real riot, not being wasteful."


And the guy answers " You know what's a riot?
Is you spending 20 years all these sauce packets that you're never
gonna use. That's a riot."

I am afraid I not getting this "It's a riot, not being wasteful."


Thanks
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    A riot is something that is incredibly humorous. Here I think she is saying that sarcastically. Does that make things clearer?
     

    chopin7

    Senior Member
    Albanian
    Thank you, Tazzler and Thomas.

    Would it be okay then if I use the word "ridiculous" for "riot"?

    Thanks again
     

    chopin7

    Senior Member
    Albanian
    Yes, sure there is a difference.
    I liked the "ridiculous" idea specially for the second part, the word of the boy.
    These were the two words that came first in my mind "ridiculous" and "absurd".
    Anyway, I will think it over.
    Thank you, Thomas
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    To me, what the mother says is:
    Do you think that not being wasteful is ridiculous?
    And the son says:
    I'll tell you what is ridiculous: saving things you're never going to use is ridiculous.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To me, what the mother says is:
    Do you think that not being wasteful is ridiculous?
    And the son says:
    I'll tell you what is ridiculous: saving things you're never going to use is ridiculous.
    Look at this, Myridon. I suspect that it is an AE site, but the meaning of it's a riot - it's funny or entertaining is exactly how I'd describe the BE meaning.

    Clearly being amusing (entertaining) isn't the same thing as being ridiculous (laughable), and when used ironically, in BE the expression would mean, I think, that not being wasteful wasn't at all amusing, which is not to question that it's a sensible thing to do. If you call something ridiculous you are saying people shouldn't do it. This is very far from the meaning projected in BE as I know it.

    I'm wondering if your suggested meaning is general in AE, despite the website, or if the website has got it wrong.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I've seen this movie. The thing is that this is spoken in a particular tone of voice and pattern of speech (rather Yiddish) in such a way as to be (as Tazzler says) a particular sort of humorously sarcastic.
    The son thinks her saving of sauce packets is amusing and laughable because he knows that she's never going to use them. She seriously thinks that she is being very practical and frugal.
    Do I amuse you? I am I a clown for your entertainment? It's a real riot, what I do?
     
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