Thursday, February 4, 2010

Playing with punctuation and other things.

You really like China!
I love my wife Jenny who is from Beixing.  Not that one that isn't.

You really like China?
Someone has suggested that I think my wife is half-heathen.  It is nice to get comments on my blog.

It is nice to get comments on your blog? you ask.  Of course.

Of course?

Of course!  Of course.

The Joys of Yiddish
I pulled that book, which I brought with me from Canada five years ago, off my shelf and am re-reading it.  It is a wonderful lexicon of the Yiddish language and its' influence on English.  I like in inflict some of its' contents on my students.

Be warned!  I like to imitate the last book I have read.

My son: he is a regular genius, at least.
Tony has figured out that putting a lid on his toy bucket, stops the toys from spilling as he carries them down from the upper bunk in our bedroom.

Get lost! Not!
I love my readers.  The critical ones especially.

Teaching the Chinese Yiddish
I asked the students to tell me what these expressions meant:

  1. Get Lost!
  2. I need it like a hole in the head.
  3. From that he makes a living?
  4. He's a regular genius.
  5. Go hit your head against the wall.
  6. You want it should sing too?
  7. On him, it looks good.
The students, with some clues, figured them all out.  The better students found them amusing and strange.  At first, many of the students thought #1 meant the person was telling everyone he was lost.  For #2, a few students had to be told that a hole in a head wasn't a good thing.  The students all figured out #4 very easily, as well as #5.
I had a hard time explaining what Jews were to the students.  The people of the book and the old testament didn't mean anything to the students.
Have your feelings been hurt?
None of the students said their feelings had been hurt recently.  I asked because earlier in the day, I had read this piece by John Derbyshire (scroll down to "hurting a nation's feelings.")

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