Sunday, June 15, 2008

Always My Undoing, Plus Idioms

Visits to my father-in-law's house result in massive overeating of rich, salty and/or sugary foods. Happy Father's Day! We had meringues (awesome), huge slices of black forest cheesecake (wow), and generous slices of the best pizza outside Italy (amore). We were sent home with cheesecake and baked French toast covered in sugared pecans. You see the problem. It's especially dangerous to stay with them for a few days, as we did over Christmas. I happened to notice today that my father-in-law's waistline has grown more generous in the year he's been married to the producer of cookie, cake, French toast, and cheesecake wonders.

Uncle Sam tells me I ate more calories than I expended today. No shit, Uncle Sam. That said, I'm very glad I got up early to exercise, or I could be in even more dire straits.

One of my first ESL tasks is to notice all the idioms around me. Fall behind in your work...keep your eyes peeled (that one makes me squirm anyway)...eyes are bigger than your stomach...G. and I say, "You idiom!" when we catch each other saying one.


Narya said...

I bet the next thing is to notice how prepositions are used. I've been told that that's the hardest thing to learn in a new language, because the use of them isn't always obvious (and I saw that in the German classes, too).

kStyle said...

Interesting, maybe so. Of course, the new trend is to mimic first language acquisition rather than to teach with a "behavioral model"---in other words, teach by gently surrounding the student with idiom-less English, but do not teach grammar unless the students ask.

I plan not to obey this dictum entirely.

kStyle said...

PS I have seen into my future, and it involves a PhD in linguistics for fun. Damn it.

Narya said...

I'm not seeing the "fun" in that. Not anywhere. Not the "Ph.D." part. Not the linguistics part. Especially not the linguistics part.

Not anywhere.

Philosophy, maybe. Possibly. If you go to the right place.

But still, probably not fun.