I had a few classic comments from the students today and they tickled me so much so that I felt I had to share. They were unusual errors too; a little outside the normal wear and where confusion.
The first was in a conversation about what the Labour Party stood for. I was hoping for some comments about socialism but instead I got ‘Oh Miss, isn’t that the people who look after pregnant ladies.’ I had to take a deep breath and count to three.
My other one was when we were talking about the feud between the Montagues and Capulets in Romeo and Juliet. We were looking at the connotations that come from the word ‘feud’ and we had spent five minutes talking about arguments and violence.
It was then that a student put up his hand and said ‘we could talk about eating.’ I asked him to elaborate as I wasn’t quite following and it soon became evident that he was talking about ‘food.’ I don’t know where he head must have been for all the time that we were talking about fighting?!
I thought that while I’m pulling my hair out and crying in the stationery cupboard, that might bring a smile to your face.
As I was driving home from school tonight, the host on Radio 2 was talking about words that we have pronounced incorrectly because they are spelled in the most ridiculous way. I have been a bit sad this past week, but listening to some of the stories from people who wrote in made me proper belly laugh.
The was a young girl who worked in a bar and thought that the Schweppes tonic water was called Shush-weppy.
I once heard a girl at work call the place where the old paperwork is kept the are-chives (a little bit like the salad onion).
Another one from my own life was the lady at the sandwich bar I went to thinking that jalapenos was pronounced ja-loppa-noss.
I hear people stumbling over tricky words every day and I sometimes have to bite down onto my lip to stop myself from laughing. However, I do think that it shows just how playful we can be with our language and I think that is something that should be celebrated.
Does anyone else have a bit of a geeky love of words and phrases? I can’t get enough of finding out where these things come from, to the point where I think it’s a bit nerdy.
I love the history behind it all. I love those quirky stories.
For example, did you know where the phrase ‘fell off the wagon’ comes from? When people were still being executed they were driven to the execution site on a wagon. On the journey, the executioner would allow the prisoner to stop at an inn and he would buy him a drink. Invariably, someone would ask if they could buy the prisoner another drink. The executioner would then say ‘sorry, you can’t because he’s on the wagon.’
Or, carrying on the drinking theme, ‘painting the town red’ probably comes from a legendary night of drinking where the Marquis of Waterford went a bit crazy. A whole mob of his friends got drunk and vandalised Melton Mowbray. They pulled off door knocker and then set about painting statues in the town red.
I could go on and on. I find these little stories fascinating and I always find myself telling people these stories when they say a word or phrase. I’m either a fountain of interesting knowledge to them….or I’m just really annoying.
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