If I don’t “understand”, do I actually “OVER stand?”

December 6, 2011

OVERHEARD AT SKI PATROL:  (Mr. Alford) “Feel free to ask any medical questions you might have at any time.  Are there any questions right now?”  (Student) “Yeah, where do babies come from?”


Being a language teacher is not all as glamorous as it may seem.

True, we get to be linguistic heroes every day, and we also earn three times what all other teachers make, and yes, we occasionally get to host the Oscars and to save people from burning buildings, but apart from the universal adulation, the free Superbowl tickets and dates with Madonna and Catherine Zeta-Jones, we are pretty regular people.

And we have pretty regular questions that pop into our heads from time to time (by time to time I mean

  • A- when we can’t sleep, or
  • 2- when we haven’t HAD enough sleep.

Today’s questions, that stemmed from a conversation at dinner with some other teachers, were as follows:

  1. Why are people often described as being “disgruntled“, but you never hear of anyone being particularly “gruntled?”
  2. If I am messy I might be “unkempt“, but if I look really good today, am I “kempt?”
  3. Why do we use the word “discrete” but open, out-there talkers are not called “crete?”

These are the things that pop into my head while waiting for the photocopier, or when trying to figure out which stairway to use in Hanscom to get up to my classroom (I find myself walking by accident into Dr. Clarke’s room at least once a day lately).  Another thought that might come upon you while waiting for your omelet on Sunday morning: How can a “fat chance” and a “slim chance” mean the same thing?

If you are one of those people who is particularly “ept” at language, you might have these thoughts too.  Feel free to respond to this Glog with your own nagging question, and I will try and answer them when I next get invited to ride the space shuttle.

Wait, what?  It’s gone?  that’s ok, it doesn’t disturb me. I’m feeling particularly “turb” today anyways.



2 Responses

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