Why do we say that our feet smell and our nose runs?
And take the word, ‘up.’ Talk about confusing! What’s up with that word, anyway? It’s just a little two-letter word but it’s used as a noun, an adjective, a verb with an object, a verb without an object, an adverb and a preposition, not to mention it’s multiple meanings as an idiom! Are you keeping up with me here?
Once international students land on our shores, they feel confused from the get-go. It’s mind-boggling—nothing like the textbook English they learned in their country! And, if that weren’t confusing enough, we Americans are all talking a mile a minute! I think these students deserve a round of applause for staying here and toughing it out! I mean, if it were me, I’d be on the next plane outta here!
There are lots of things about our language that are confusing even to me. For example, if the plural of mouse is mice, why isn’t the plural of house, hice? And here’s another puzzler: Why do we drive on a parkway, but park on a drive way?
Once in awhile the tables are turned and I’m the one scratching my head for a minute when, for example, my homestay students ask if they can ‘open’ or ‘close’ the lights.
Tonight at the dinner table my homestay students and I were talking about idioms. They hear a lot of them at school and in the movies. So, I (foolish me) asked if they recalled any idioms they didn’t understand. “Yeah,” one of them asked, “What does ‘shove it up your a**’ mean?”
Gasp. Sputter. Choke. Ahem. Oh my!…… just how does a ‘mama’ explain that one?!
Yup, my homestay students have a lotta pluck (as in courage)! If I were trying to learn English as my second language, I’d be a basket case by now! ‘Basket case.’ Now that’s an interesting idiom! Where in the world did that one originate? Darned if I know!
Wondering if I’m up for this,