Saturday, 26 December 2009

What a difference an 'e' makes

Today, remembrance day, should have been a solemn occasion. However, my classroom was full of laughter. We were talking about the past simple and time phrases that you can use with past expressions.

One word produced plenty of amusement – a student asked me to explain the meaning of ‘d*ck head‘.

I was firstly somewhat bemused – why does my student want to know the meaning of this word?

They are usually so polite and well behaved. I asked them, ‘Do you really want to know the meaning of d*ck head?’

This was a big mistake as this offered the opportunity for the student to say yes.

The response was ‘Yes, d*ck head.’ Fortunately the intonation was enough to save me from being offended.

Then another student came to my aid.

‘I think he means decade!’

So I explained ‘decade’ and hoped that the other word would fade in the class’s memory.

No such luck.

‘So what does d*ck head mean?’ Asked another student.

‘Do you really want me to explain it?’

There was laughter from those that knew the word, confusion from those that didn’t.

There was an anxious glance from my LSA.

‘Yes, we want it!’ The students cried.

So I drew a picture. I’m not a good artist by any stretch of the imagination but I think I did a good job.

Most of the class got it and fell about laughing but one young man asked ‘What’s that on his head?’

‘Well,’ I thought quickly, ‘well you have one between your legs and she doesn’t!’
The class burst into laughter, the young man nodded sagely and I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day. It’s amazing the difference an /e/ can make.

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