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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Duck? Duck! 
31st-Oct-2012 10:33 am
Let me see..

I teach English to Spanish teenagers, which is an education for them and me.

Earlier this month, a student came to class wearing a tee-shirt that a friend had brought as a gift from New York — seen here, and available for purchase here:

My student knew what m***** f***** meant, since bad words are among the first vocabulary items any kid seeks out, but he had a question, and not the one I expected: “What does duck mean? I’m sure it isn’t pato.” (Pato = the bird called “duck.”)

So I explained, and he learned how to say get down and hide in one convenient English word. And, finally, he appreciated the joke on the shirt. Meanwhile I pondered the possibility of pistol-packing foul-mouthed New York waterfowl.

Education marches on.

— Sue Burke

P.S. Stay strong, New York! The world's thoughts are with you.

31st-Oct-2012 11:54 am (UTC)
Matt and I were wondering how many of the people we saw with English language t-shirts knew exactly what they meant...
1st-Nov-2012 08:59 am (UTC)
No, they don't I know because I sometimes ask my students what the writing on their clothing means, and they don't always know. "My mother bought it. But she doesn't speak English very good. She likes the color."

I was once at a concert for an English-language group, and everyone was singing along with the chorus of a song. Then, when it was done, one of the Spaniards behind me asked his friends, "Dime otra vez, ¿qué significan las palabras?" "Tell me again, what do the words mean?" He'd only memorized the sounds of the words.
1st-Nov-2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
::rolls eyes::
31st-Oct-2012 04:09 pm (UTC)
That really made me laugh. I will be thinking about pistol-packing, foul-mouthed waterfowl all day.

Or are they fowl-mouthed. ;-)
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