Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The nuances of language

My friend Hope had a bit of a misunderstanding with her new landlord due to the English language. His English is limited, but he looked up the word for "go away" and found "leave." So, when they were having a conversation about what he should leave in the house and what to take out, he would say, "I leave it" when he meant "I will make it go away." She, of course, was saying, "No, don't leave it!" The confusion went on for some time until they realized the misunderstanding. We use the word in two opposite ways, don't we? To leave meaning "go away" and leave something meaning "let it stay." Eventually they agreed to use two completely different words. Whew. And we think learning Italian is hard? By the way, I'm starting a month-long intro course next week!


At August 27, 2004 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a strange thing English is---too many definitions for the same word. Sandra


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