Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Things we say are funny

We have a funny language. We were reading about an American who had language problems while visiting England recently because she didn’t speak “English” and this caused us to wonder about our own language and if it really means what it says. We’ve all worked at this game, but why not add to it?

For instance - is baby oil really that?

Are your potatoes really shoe string?

And toilet water. Better not go there.

When you picked the table up after dinner - wasn’t it quite heavy?

When you baste a roasting turkey is it the same as basting a seam when sewing?

Is the car really running?

Is your spider really a frying pan?

And how about these sayings we use every day?

Slower than molasses in January
One foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel

Sharper than a hound’s tooth

Everything but the kitchen sink

Our language is colorful, too. A person will be white with fear, purple with passion, green with envy, black with rage, red with anger, blue when sad and a yellow coward. If we has all these feelings at the same time, we’d be a virtual rainbow.

Is it any wonder our language is often a puzzle to those who come here from other countries? If you watch films or TV shows from the BBC, to have to pay strict attention at times to figure what they are in conversation about. Trucks are lorries, car trunks are boots, bathrooms are loos and so on.

We all seem to get our point across, and the peculiarities in the language always seem to be ironed out when one becomes acquainted - perhaps over a cup of tea or coffee.

Sayings can be confusing also -- “the pot calling the kettle black,” “I’d like to be a fly on the wall,” “it’s the bee’s knees,” “raining cats and dogs,” -- and on and on.

I’m sure you can come up with more; if you are having a slightly boring time and want to get the conversation perked up, bring up some of the above and see how far it can go.

While it may seem everyone knows these idioms, they don’t. We had a nephew by marriage that moved from Buffalo some time ago and every so often when in the conversation one of these would happen to come into the conversation, he would look puzzled and then someone would explain the saying and he would crack up laughing as, in his family ,nothing like that ever came into the day-to-day conversation.

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