Monday, May 31, 2010

Jumping the gnu

Well, my attempt to jump-start the blog again didn't work – all it achieved was that I felt guilty every time I got home from work and didn't have the energy to write anything. However, I have been keeping notes about possible blog entries, and here are the notes:

1. Spear ... spear ...
2. Fewmale
3. Of age
4. Integrity
5. Neighbor foot
6. Never foot
7. Jumping the gnu

I'll take these in order.

1. A class was looking at a picture of the Colosseum in the textbook, and I explained to them that it was a stadium built 2000 years ago. They thought about this for a while, and were wondering who would have used it. One of the students suddenly shouted,

"Spear – spear – !"

We all stared at him.

"Spear?" I said, thinking of Christians and lions and gladiators. I supposed some of them used spears, but wasn't sure.

"Brittney Spears!" he yelled. "No, wait ... "

There was an uproar of derision from the other students.

"SHAKEspeare!" he shouted, and after that the only derision left was mine, carefully concealed

"I don't think Shakespeare was around then," I told him.

2. I was giving a dictation in which the word female appeared. The students puzzled over this until one of them decided that it was spelt fewmale, and informed the others. Everybody else nodded wisely and wrote it down.

3. This one came from listening to podcasts on my way to and from work. Why do people say that someone is '20 years of age' instead of saying that they are '20 years old,' or just 'twenty'? I don't know why, but it always sounds clumsy to me. Or perhaps pretentious, although I'm pretty sure it's not intended that way.

4. Why can we only HAVE integrity? Why is there no adjective for this particular noun? Honesty becomes honest. Honour becomes honourable. Why can't we say, She is integrit, or integrable, or something like that?

5 and 6. These are variations of neighborhood my students came up with in another dictation. Is there a bank in your neighbor foot?

I wonder what they thought it meant?

7. I wrote to one of my bosses to ask about whether it would be all right for me to do something (never mind what, it's not important or interesting), and then before hearing back I actually did it, after which I got a reply telling me not to just yet. In my reply to THAT email, I apologized for jumping the gnu.

Some typos are better than others. That was definitely one of the good ones, and I'm keeping it.


curley said...

GNU = GNU's not Unix

Ooops, sorry, one of the nice jokes from the Free Software Foundation. It does come as an OS - with a picture which I'm sure Michael Flanders (miss him!) would have loved... ("I'm a Gnu, a gnother Gnu!")

Sorry, couldn't resist... thanks BA!

kenju said...

When my grandson (age 5) saw the Colosseum, he asked his mom when they were going to finish it. LOL

Shammi said...

Everybody should jump the gnu at some point :)

Keera Ann Fox said...

Maybe this will relieve your guilt: Although I enjoy every word you write (I almost spelled it world, which would also fit), I find I am so busy not writing on my own blog, that fewer updates all round suit me just fine. I'll let you know when I'm no longer busy so you can start writing more frequently. I hope this schedule works for you.

And yes, some typos are definitely worth leaving in. :-)

Hebron said...

According to the interwebs, at one point 'Integral' would have been acceptable, but its meaning changed.
You could use 'Upright' :P

Faerunner said...

I'm with Keera. Having left your blog behind for a while while I caught up on other life-type stuff, I just found myself spending an afternoon 'catching up' (and linking a friend to you - he is going to be teaching English in China, and I thought he could use some encouragement, as he's never taught before!).

You are great for laughs, badaunt, but you are not so good for helping me get things done! Shame on you for being so amusing!