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Posts Tagged ‘language’

Random Humor


My readers and students send me some of the funniest stuff, knowing what my sense of humor is like. One of the problems is that so many things wouldn't fit into any one topic for a blog post. So the topic of this one is randomness to allow me to share some of the great things I've received lately.

This basketball player must have been forewarned, because now he's four-armed.

Forewarned Is Four-Armed

I've been told that the Wizard of Oz is only of the most universally recognizable pieces of Americana. During my 40 years of teaching, I have had drop many bits of humor from my repertoire because my students no longer recognized them, and the time required to explain the humor was simply not profitable. I can attest that most of my American students still respond to some of the most oblique references to the Wizard of Oz. Here's some humor about the movie most of Americans will get ... I think....
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Sense of Urgency?


This is a very short blog post to let my readers know that Megan's biopsy results have come back. The short of it is that her thyroid nodule is benign and that she does not have cancer! We are thanking the Lord for this wonderful answer to prayer. To those of you who prayed and shared words of encouragement, thank you so much!

If you want to read about her experience in her own words, Megan has done a blog post about it, including some cute pictures of Drew and Maddie.

I can't, of course, post without at least a bit of humor. Here's a story that I find quite amusing, dealing as I do with foreign languages and cultures.

divider

A man was vacationing in Italy and saw that people were taking things really easy, so he asked the Italian tour guide, "You know, in Mexico people take things slowly and have a word in Spanish — mañana. It means tomorrow — it can wait till tomorrow. Do you have a word for it in Italian?"

The guide thought for a moment, and then replied, "No, I don't think we have any word with quite such a sense of urgency."

quotation...

"Anger is never without reason, but seldom with a good one." — Benjamin Franklin

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

In the beginning of his career Houdini escaped through a trap door on the floor. It was just a stage he was going through. Who knew he would lower himself to such levels?!


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Fun with German


Anyone who has tried to learn a foreign language knows that the process is a mixture of excitement and discouragement, fun and frustration, and is ultimately plenty of hard work. I realize that most of my French and German students are a "captive audience" — they have a language requirement for whatever they are actually majoring in. Depending on their major, the requirement is anywhere from one semester to four semesters. My goal is to make the process as enjoyable and rewarding as possible for my students, mixing in enough humor and fun to make the necessary work less tedious, and to make some of the linguistic oddities stick in the students' minds.

When you learn another language, you learn things about your own language — things you probably would never learn any other way. I love to witness a student's realizing he or she finally understands things studied in English classes for years. It's not uncommon for someone to say, "So that is what a direct object is!" or "Oh, yeah, subject-verb agreement!" 🙂

This summer I am spending lots of time with German since I'll resume teaching that language this fall. Picking it up again after not using it much in recent years has reminded me of some of the things I enjoy most about German. Today's post pokes fun at several of those things. I've put some fairly technical stuff in this post, but stay with me — I think you'll enjoy it, even if grammar isn't on your top ten list of fun stuff to do.

I'll start off with a joke. If you've studied German, you will get it right away. If you haven't, the explanation follows.

    An American businessman goes into negotiations with a German company. The company sends over a representative, who speaks no English. The American businessman speaks no German. So he hires an interpreter. The conference goes smoothly until, at one point, the interpreter stops translating as the German is still speaking.

    The American gets impatient and asks the interpreter, "Why aren't you translating?"

    The interpreter answers, "I'm waiting for the verb."

Here's the explanation for those who have never studied German:
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Save the Words!


Several TV commercials have recently reminded me of my ongoing mourning of the loss of some words from my native tongue. I decided to do a blog post about it. Each time a dictionary goes into a new version, in order to make room for new words that have been coined, the editors must consider dropping words that are seldom used by the public at large. The following are the kinds of words they look at:

vectarious = belonging to a wagon or carriage

jussulent = full of broth or soup

caliginosity = dimness

jollux = fat person

griseous = somewhat gray (Hey, I can now claim that word as my own!)

As I prepared for this post, I was surprised to learn about a website that's been set up to rescue words that may be dropped from dictionaries. The site is called Save the Words. On this site I learned that 90% of what people say is communicated with a total of only 7,000 vocabulary words. Below is a screenshot from that site:
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What Can You Say to That?


Do you ever have moments when you feel as if you should say something, but you don't even know what to say? You're left with a total loss for words. I envy those who always seem to be able to come up with something to say. I have found that when I don't know for sure what to say, I should just keep my mouth closed.

Today's iv is several jokes where the one person is left with nothing to say in reply.

A laundry-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to his wife, "What setting do I use on the washing machine?"

She replied, "It depends — what does it say on your shirt?"

He yelled back, "Green Bay Packers."
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