More random thoughts on words:
Why do people refuse to understand and differentiate between similar sounding words…particularly if you are new to the language?
In Andorra mon mari and I were in a bar (place where beverages are served – orange juice to alcohol). He was starting to get comfortable with Spanish so he went up to order the coffee – 2 cortados (small espresso with hot milk…wonderful!) but he said cortadas (cut).
The guy handed him a knife and smirked.
I mean, come on, the words are not that different, especially when you remember the accent is on the second syllable, not the last.
If I went in to an American red-neck bar and ordered a bear, the bartender would probably smile and say 'Don't you mean a beer, little lady?' and hand me a brewski.
Of course, if my neighbor, Francois, did the same the guy would probably head out back looking for his pet grizzly….
When I was 3 my mother asked me what I wanted for lunch.
Even at that tender age I loved food! I asked for a Braunschweiger (liver sausage) sandwich.
Apparently mothers can be guilty of deliberate misunderstanding, as well. She made me a brown sugar sandwich! And made me eat it!
I was only 3!
(Jokes on her. Think about it – caramely brown sugar on fresh, creamery butter….how bad can that be?)
In Spain, after playing golf in the blistering heat, we would have a clara (beer and carbonated water - which was refreshing, thirst quenching and didn't get you dizzy like straight beer would)
Great… as long as you didn't say 'claro' to the waitress – meaning you agreed with whatever the last person ordered (hot tea anyone?).
I commented on this phenomenon to my Spanish teacher, who happened to be an English-speaking German.
She replied that Spanish was much harder to learn than English – the opposite of what I thought I knew. She went on to say how easy English was to learn to pronounce – everything was so orderly.
Okay, I'd had enough.
This was my native language, I knew where the pitfalls were for the unwary.
I gave her my ultimate test: pronounce 'bomb', 'tomb', and 'comb'.
Each word rhymed perfectly with 'bum'….
So, do you suppose that if a (insert nationality here), speaking less than perfect English, threatened to send a 'bum' to destroy your country, everybody would snicker and not 'understand' the stupid (insert pejorative descriptor here)?
So, do you suppose I'm going to get into trouble for deliberately cooking 'Red Rice and Beans' incorrectly?
Brown Rice and Beans, Oriental Style, for two
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup chicken stock
15oz (450gr) red kidney beans
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs dry sherry
2 tsp soy sauce
Cook rice in chicken stock, 15 minutes, or until done (check package directions).
While rice cooks, thinly slice onion and celery. Mince garlic. Open, drain and rinse beans. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add paprika, onions and celery and sauté until tender, 6 – 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes longer. Add beans, vinegar, sherry and soy sauce. Heat through. Cover and reduce heat to keep warm. When rice is done, stir into beans and serve.