Thursday, 20 January 2011

Cough Cough

I was doing a mock speaking exam. Sarah wasn't really paying attention to the instructions...

"WHAT?" said Sarah as soon as I had finished.

"Could you ask me again politely?" said I.

"Politely?" said she, obediently.

I was explaining the concept of a gap-fill to a student...

"Read the sentence and write the missing word." Student pointed to gap. "Yes that's right. You need to write something there."

"Something" wrote the student.

On both occasions it was a genuine mistake, and on both occasions the whole class dissolved into giggles. I laughed too.  I laughed until tears were coming out my eyes. How could I not laugh? Some schools of thought believe you should never laugh at your students mistakes because you might hurt their feelings but... I'm only human.

Plus I've made my own fair share of dumb mistakes, in fact I'm still doing it. (A. had to step in the other day as I repeatedly insisted to the pharmacist that I didn't want to buy something I actually did want to buy). In this spirit here is a list of words that are causing me endless hassle as I accidentally remember the correct word and then remember that it's not the one that I think it is:

- Cappelli (hats) and Capelli (hair) - even writing this I got it wrong.
- Polmoni (lungs) and Piumini (duvets)
- Sono (I am) and Sonno (Sleepiness)
- Zingari (gypsies), Zenzaro (ginger) and Zanzari (mosquitos)
and perhaps most annoyingly of all:
- Tazze (cups), Tasse (taxes), Tassi (badgers) and Tosse (cough).

Especially with this cough. I never know what I'm going to apologise for next.

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