Taking Things Literally

While writing yesterday, I was thinking about my tendency to think about language in general as I’m going about my daily life. Obviously this is something I do more often since beginning to work in the English-language teaching industry, but I realised that I’ve actually been doing it for a long time: just not in the same way.

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“So, you’re a teacher?”

​-It must be great to have all those long holidays !

-Well no actually, I’m actually busiest in the summer. In fact, I never take a holiday in July or August.

-Oh, so you’re not a proper teacher then ?


-What kind of teacher are you then ?

-I’m  an English teacher.

-Ah, Shakespeare and all that. You must love books !

-Well actually, not that kind of English teacher.

-Ok… I think I’m going to talk to someone else now…

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How’s it Going? 

How’s what going exactly? Obviously you don’t really need to think about that if someone asks you this question.

The correct answer is of course, Fine thanks, how are you? It’s just a greeting, so you don’t really need to tell the person how you are, though I sometimes do, especially if I have something interesting to tell them. Still, the question remains: how’s what going? And where? 

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Why You’re Using Umbrellas Wrong

Recently a student was trying to think of the word umbrella. They knew the French word (parapluie), but that didn’t help them to remember or figure out what the English word is. And as I thought about the word umbrella, I completely understood why: it actually has nothing to do with rain at all.

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