|It's all in how you say it!|
I remember growing up, when us five kids (and that is how we said it) heard someone reference the Perry Dam, we would begin making nervous eye contact before we began elbowing each other and fighting the inappropriate laughter, surely believing that this person was swearing in mixed company. And that is how we always referred to ourselves, "us five kids", unless it was Mom or Dad, and then it was "you five kids". We were our own little posse just wanting to be heard (not herd - or herded).
People also tend to emulate language they particularly like. Case in point. Mr. French (until recently) owned a trucking business. In his shop, they could often be heard saying 10-4 instead of "okay" or any other word that indicated agreement. Now, the tone could be varied. It could be in total agreement, a question, or could have a resigned sound to it. I personally like to say 10-4, so I have incorporated it into my own vocabulary and am pleased to report that as I have entered government service, it has become a new word on the 9th floor. Oh sure, it was met with some surprise (dare I even suggest amusement?) at first, but now, it;s just....a big 10-4.
The most recent literal interpretation of the English language happened to me at a meeting I attended in San Antonio. There was a group of us gathered and while I knew (not new) everyone, this was not true for all in attendance. Acting as facilitator, I made the following statement. "Since everyone here may not have met, and it's always good to put a face with a name, let's introduce ourselves. We will go around the room and start with you, Buster. (The name has been changed to protect the innocent.).
Buster stood up, stepped behind his chair and ...proceeded to begin going AROUND THE ROOM!!!! I KID YOU NOT. I wish this was a recorded meeting. Thank goodness I am an adult now and know (not no) how to handle such things. When I was done laughing (not so quietly) and had managed to catch my breath, I stopped Buster by saying graciously, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? Buster replied sheepishly with a shrug of his shoulders, "you said to go around the room...." I could not make eye contact with him for the rest of the meeting. And it was a long meeting.
You have to understand, Buster is from Louisiana. Apparently, I have more power than previously recognized.
I don't know so much but this is what I know for sure. I will certainly WATCH MY LANGUAGE going forward. I have a responsibility.
Until next time, (not thyme)