You are currently browsing the daily archive for May 7, 2009.

by Mark

Its fun learning a language (yes, there are certainly frustrations that go with it, too).  At times you come across things that you just have to wonder about. 

One of our favorite examples from our second language books is a sentence that shows the use of “too much/excessively/extremely.”  “John embezzled excessively too much money.” It is questions like these that bring out the deeper issues in life.  

  • If John embezzled too much, how much is the right amount to embezzle?
  • Is there someone who embezzled too little money? How do you know what too little is? I imagine this sentence “Judy embezzled too little money
  • What happened to John?  He is never mentioned again in the book so I think he got whacked- took the cement shoe express. 

I remember reading Highlights magazine.  I think it’s still around.  The stories of Goofus and Gallant.  Goofus did it wrong but Gallant did it right.   Goofus embezzled too much money, Gallant embezzled just the right amount. 


Upper left: Goofus scolds someone who could not bring him enough money to buy bling (silly Goofus, you must embezzle for yourself!)

Upper right: Galant tells children how to embezzle just the right amount

Lower Right: Gallant embezzled enough money so he can give money away to make friends

Lower Left: Goofus embezzled too little and has to steal from his parents

In our new lesson there is a unique word.  The word is Эрхлэх (irxlex) which boasts a definition of “to snuggle, to manage.”   Hmmm, this is going to cause problems for me or uncontrollable fits of laughter in the future. 

Me: “So John, now that embezzling hasn’t worked out for you what what line of work are you in?”

John: “I’m a manager” 

Me (turning red, trying to stifle laughter): “Umm you snuggle way to much”

This is the time when I think, you know, being an anthropological entomologist would be pretty interesting.  How did this word get two seemingly diverse meanings attached to it? (actually we found out today to use the term manage you always use it with another word such as work)