The Problem with Words…

“Language is the source of misunderstandings.”
from Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saunt-Exupéry

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I always felt German was a hard language to learn – much harder than French, my first foreign language at school – but I do understand that the English language has its problems too…

Here are some sentences found, oh goodness knows where, many years ago, that I sometimes show to my students to console them when they have difficulties!

  1. The farm was used to produce produce.
  2. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  3. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  4. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  5. I did not object to the object.
  6. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  7. They were too close to the door to close it.
  8. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  9. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  10. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

And then there’s these:

  • The chicken is ready to eat.
  • Visiting relatives can be boring.
  • They are cooking apples.
  • They are hunting dogs.
  • We saw her duck.
  • He ate the cookies in the kitchen.
  • Mine exploded.
  • I know a man with a dog who has fleas.

😀

Who says English is easy?!

 

How to cook a (Tofu)Turkey

As you know, I’m a vegetarian. This means turkey is definitely not on the menu here. But when I was sent this “how to” a couple of years ago I laughed so hard I thought I’d share. (Some of you may have seen it doing the rounds on the internet again already, but I could read this again and again and still laugh!) I showed it to some students once, but the combination of the joke  getting “lost in translation”, and the wry humour just didn’t work…

File:Holly Berries in Snow - geograph.org.uk - 136731.jpg

Have a laugh on me:

How To Cook A (Tofu)Turkey

Step 1: Go and buy a turkey

Step 2: Take a drink of whisky

Step 3: Put turkey in the oven 

Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whisky 

Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens 

Step 6: Take 3 more whiskys of drink 

Step 7: Turk the bastey 

Step 8: Whisky another bottle of get 

Step 9: Ponder the meat thermometer 

Step 10: Glass yourself a pour of whisky 

Step 11: Bake the whisky for 4 hours 

Step 12: Take the oven out of the turkey 

Step 13: Floor the turkey up off of the pick 

Step 14: Turk the carvey 

Step 15: Get yourself another scottle of botch 

Step 16: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey 

Have fun cooking your Christmas dinner, whatever it is! 😉

(P.S. Just for the record, not only do I not eat turkey… I don’t drink whisky either! 😀 )

Advent 2012 (Part Two)

The second week of Advent has arrived, with many in a shopping frenzy already. And who can describe it better than our old friend Charles Dickens, in “A Christmas Carol”:

“… the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day, that they tumbled up against each other at the door, clashing their wicker baskets wildly; and left their purchases upon the counter, and came running back to fetch them, and committed hundreds of the like mistakes in the best humour possible…”

I love looking through “A Christmas Carol” every year, and revel in the rich verbosity of Dickensian storytelling! Another favourite part is when The Ghost of Christmas Present arrives:

“The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy, reflected back the light, as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there; and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney as that dull petrifaction of a hearth had never known in Scrooge’s time, or Marley’s, or for many and many a winter season gone. Heaped up upon the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, suckling pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum puddings, barrels of oysters, red hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth cakes, and seething bowls of Punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam.”

I have also seen several film versions of A Christmas Carol, as well as countless stage productions. The Muppets film version is, however, still one of my favourites! Take a look at this clip:

For the second Advent week I wish everyone:

Time to sit down with a friend for a cup of tea and a chat

Inspiration

A moment to read a poem or part of a favourite book

😀

Parsley the Lion

The Herbs was a UK children’s TV series in the early seventies. Each character was the personification of a herb, with their own song, and the episodes took place in the Herb Garden.

Did you ever see it?

Among others, there was Parsley the Lion, who was extremely shy, but very friendly and lovable! (His mane was of parsley!) Then Dill, the neurotic dog, who was constantly chasing his tail. Sir Basil and Lady Rosemary. And Bayleaf the Gardener! I also remember the chive choir, conducted by the schoolmaster. But when I looked up his name (Mr Onion!) memories of other characters came flooding back! Senor Solidago the singing teacher, Sage the owl, the policeman Constable Knapweed

Here are a few links. It’s dated, but charming!

Parsley’s Song

Sage’s singing lesson

The Herbs

The Herbs and episode descriptions

The Herbs Homestead

The Herbs and Parsley DVD