Skip to main content

Sorry It Has WHAT?

As a former English teacher, and native Anglophone, I am perpetually annoyed at the improper use of the language.

Let's take much vs. many.

I have MUCH time and I have MANY minutes.
NOT I have many time and much minutes.

It's just regardless people.

Supposibly ---It's so wrong I am not even sure how it exists.


If you don't have no time---that means you 

When someone speaks like this I cringe, but I don't actually SAY anything because it's not really hurting anyone.

But there was one exception......  

A couple of summers ago, my local Library was hosting a family reading session that explored the theme of "under the ocean".  

I live in a very multicultural community, and the staff reflected in both the customers and staff of the Library.  I don't go often, but on a trek home from the mall, Youngest and I swung through to take advantage of the air conditioning.  The story time room you see was in the basement.  The nice, cold, basement.

The lady presenting the event introduced herself a Svetlana, her Eastern European accent evident in her English.

"He-lo every-won!  Pleese, we will stat wit a game to ghess the sea creature. I vill gif you clus and you ghess."

I figured it was a good time for me to scroll through my email on my phone while he sat, heard a story and got cooled off before we hit the road.  

Svetlana began her clues, the kids started shouting guesses and I started to tune them out and zone in on my screen.  Much clapping ensued when each sea creature described was guessed, and I stepped to the back of the room, grabbed a chair and sat.

By the forth e-mail, I was aware of the noise, or more accurately, the absence of it. The room had gone still. I could hear Svetlana talking animatedly at the front of the room, and tried to tune into what she was saying.

You know! I know you do!
It is soft, and very long and wave around in the water.
It does not have fins but some people do eat them!

I was confused.  How hard could this be?  

And then I heard it....

It has 8 long TESTICLES and waves them around in like this!  She wiggled her arms like seaweed over her head.

These TESTICLES can be as long as a football field! 

More waving.

I scanned the room.  

Looks of horror and confusion.  

"Come on keeds, you know this."  Still more waving.

"Their TESTICLES can grab you and...."

Parents started to raise their hands, and I suspected a few cell phones sat at 9-1- at this point.

I shot from my seat.  


Now I was waving MY arms.

Her eyes found me at the back of the room, arms waving.

"I'm sorry, were you guessing?"

I whipped my arms behind my back. 

 I think you mean TEN-TA-CLES!

"What was I saying?"

"Not TENTACLES, that's for sure,"I  heard a mother mumble a few rows ahead of me.

Svetlana laughed it off, blaming the English language for its "quirky intricacies" and story time continued. Most of the kids remained oblivious.

As I exited, Svetlana stopped me.

"Tank you for correcting my English.  It is not my first language.  I never knew this word in English before and so now I do."

(Aaaaaannnnd now so does a lot of small children who are probably having very interesting conversations with their parents.)

When I asked Youngest what he thought of our Library time, he replied with:
How do you make an octopus laugh?
I dunno honey, how?
You give him TEN TICKLES!
Oh the quirky intricacies of the English language.....


Popular posts from this blog

Shame is A Full-Contact Emotion (Brené Brown)

It is a cool outside this morning and I have on my fluffy red robe as I sit outside and watch the birds flit back and forth from the fence to the feeder----arrogantly tossing aside imperfect sunflower seeds to get to the good ones.

The discarded seeds, some empty, some full, punctuate my deck, waiting for the squirrels, who will later claim this easy buffet.
I am still reading Brené and The Gifts of Imperfection.

Feels a bit like learning a new language ---I see the words---I hear the words---but the meaning is so diffuse...I need to read and reread and sometimes, even read out loud to make the words stick

It is hard work.

And while the smooth cover of her book lies balanced on my palm, seemingly weightless, many of the concepts have a density that knocks me flat on my ass ---like a large medicine ball.
CATCH THIS ONE!Oooooooof!I am down.

Eyes wide, trying to catch my breath, wrestling with the weight of hefty concepts like shame, authenticity, wholeheartedness, courage, compassion, connect…

Taking a Lesson from Work

Maybe it's because I am on this spiritual journey, or maybe it is because I have time to read blogs and cruise the web, but 2014 seems a bit obnoxious so far.  
Really IN YOUR FACE. Ok so it is not quite like this, but...... ....picture in your mind a saloon type town in the old west. 

Got it? 

Ok so now add a slick looking guy standing up on a wooden crate, surrounded by a crowd of people.  Beside the crate is a table, and on it are dozens bottles.
He clears his throat, throws out his arms, and announces:

AND IF NOT, WHY NOT? OMG you think!!! (well OMG probably wasn't around then but...)  

OMG I think I heard a few things in there that I need to fix!!!!  Actually, I KNO…

Getting to Know My Neighbor in Type B

As a self identified "Type A" behavior "enthusiast", getting to know my neighbor in "Type B" might help me get a handle on why I too often feel like I am banging my head against a wall at work.   
But before I get too far, after all, there are a bazillion "self assessment" tests out there from, "What potato chip flavor are you?" to "Which Prince outfit are you?"
In the 1950's, two cardiologists, Friedman and Rosenman used Type A and Type B as a way to describe behavioral responses associated with how male patients with heard conditions responded to stress in their waiting room.   
They observed that some of the men actually wore down the edges of the seats from sitting poised on the edges of the seat and jumping up frequently, (labelled Type A) while others were able to relax in their seats and the wear on the chairs was focused more evenly (labelled Type B).  
They went on to investigate further, testing and proving at that …