Thursday, April 21, 2005

The linguist, part II

Background: At my old job, there was a woman who sat near me who didn't quite have even the most basic language skills. She would often use words inappropriately, and sometimes made new ones up. This extended to phrases, too. Not only would she use the phrase out of context, she would typically butcher it so much that it made absolutely no sense at all. Since another coworker and I filled our time with making up nick-names for the people who sat near us, she was dubbed "The Linguist."

I shall give you examples of her work:
1) When referring to a sick relative, she said "The Doctor says it's just going from one extremity to the other." Clearly, the correct word should have been extreme.

2) She had "back problems" and could only drive a certain kind of car. Why? Because it was the only one she could sit in without "any degree of uncomfortablement."

3) When referring to her poor-driving skills in NYC, she told me she was "still Greek with it." (What the hell does that even mean?) I'm guessing she was thinking of the phrase "It's all Greek to me" but you wouldn't typically say that when you're talking about driving. It's more of a can't-read-the-directions type of phrase.

Now you have an example of each case. Fun, huh?

I thought I had seen the last of her, but apparently, there are others like her floating around in the world. Yesterday, in bio class, one woman said "resceptible" when she should have said "susceptible." I thought she was just tongue-tied, but she said the same thing again later on that day.

I hate these colors. They have to go. I'm taking suggestions.
Ms. V


Erin said...

Purple and black!

Perplexio said...

There was a guy in Ohio I once knew who also had a few beauties when it came to really unusual English:

1) "Dramastically" (does any more need be said?!?)

2) He at one point mentioned that he and his family were going out for dinner and that he was going to order "Flaming Yawns"-- I don't know about you but no matter how tired I am, my yawns are never flaming... I've not ever seen a flamboyantly gay man yawn either... That's about the only instance I could think of when it comes to "Flaming Yawns." Of course we all realized he meant "Filet Mignon" but it was still fun to come up with fun alternatives.

3) He mentioned at one point wanting to go to "Harverford"-- I'm guessing this is a new school where everyone talks like him... Because the way he talked, he certainly couldn't have been talking about "Harvard"... or could he?

Oh, by the way, I'm back from my honeymoon. :-) Pictures will be posted.

Ms. V said...

You're lucky you said you were back. I was about to scold you for reading blogs and posting comments on your honeymoon. :) I MUST have wedding picture. Must. I'm a sucker for that stuff. Besides, I want to see you and the bride all dressed up and perty. (yes, I meant to say "perty.")