Recently while talking with some of the teachers in the teachers’ office (teachers rotate classrooms, so one large room serves as the office for all of the teachers) one teacher brought up American curse words. You can probably see where this is going.
Due to curse words not carrying quite the same weight when they are in a different language – I remember my Canadian cousin enlightening Cole and I on all things dirty French many years ago – it is not unusual to see people here sometimes wearing clothing in public with some of the filthiest things you’ll ever see written on them.
Back to the teachers’ office…after the teacher brings up the topic, I’m flooded with questions about a number of the English language’s more notorious words:
“Well, how do you use that as a verb?”
“What about as a noun?”
“Can it be an adverb, too?”
We had a long discussion about the words, their meanings, and their place in the hierarchy of “things you shouldn’t say in public.”
Following this informal “lesson,” some of the most religiously conservative people I’ll ever meet were having a field day trying out all of their newly learned uses of curse words on each other. It was not my proudest teaching moment, but it is definitely one of my funniest and favorite memories of my time here so far.