I think I missed my blogoversary. I think it was in September. I don’t remember. But I noticed just now that this is my 300th post! Well, actually, probably not because I have maybe 5-6 posts that I started but never finished. Someday that will happen.
Anyway, that aside, I have some exciting things to blog about, like how Eileen and I went to Wickertown (aka Chimbarongo) on Monday and had lots of wonderful adventures. It will be complete with pictures, I promise. (Although I don’t promise they will be high quality. My camera…sucks).
But onto the point of this post.
Yesterday I was on the metro, taking a ride from hell to Los Heroes from San Joaquin at hora peak. I was still on Line 5, which is the MUCH less crowded leg of that journey, and I noticed a man whip out his English homework. He started filling in an exercise where he had to chose between “much” and “many”. Any seasoned English teacher can tell you that “much” is a quantifying adverb used with uncountable nouns (like food, water, air, for example: I ate too much food last night) and that many is used with countable nouns (apples, people, hours, etc.). I watched as the man started to do the exercise and he had the rule reversed. He used much where he should have used many and vice versa. It was all I could do not to say, “Excuse me, would you like some help with that? You seem to have the rule reversed.” But as Eileen noticed on Monday, I don’t really talk to strangers, much less strangers on the metro (unless they talk to me first).
Then today I was walking to class and heard a conversation between some businessmen. It seems that one of them was gringo and the other two Chilean, and they were speaking in English. “Actually,” one of them said, “the price of copper is stable.” Nope, I wanted to say, you mean currently, not actually. Actually and actualmente are false cognates, common mistake.
This is a problem. I like my job, but I do not want to live it 24-7. I need to learn to let go and not analyze everyone’s English.
Case in point: I’m at the Institute right now and some teachers are talking about how to say hair straightener in English, and one of them said “hair iron”, which I really doubt exists as a word in English, but is rather a direct translation. It was all I could do not to yell out, “hair straightener!!” Why do I care? I don’t know. But I really want to stop caring, because boy is it tiring.