2006-10-24

Take Another Stab

I received an email from a parent concerned about eir child's grade in my class; the phrasing of the email suggested that English might not be the parent's first language. I gave a few suggestions about how the student could improve eir grades, including "tak[ing] another stab" at a specific assignment. Apparently, that expression didn't translate properly, because by the next day, I received a flustered response, with my principal CC-ed, inquiring about wanting to be better notified about eir child's violent behavior. Though I didn't understand where this particular concern was coming from, the student later clarified that the phrase "take another stab" led the parent to believe eir child wasn't doing well due to weapons or something.

It's funny how a silly turn-of-phrase that I wouldn't normally think twice about can lead to me having to send out multiple emails to multiple parties reassuring that no stabbing incidents have occurred in my classroom.

Reflecting back, I tried to think of other ways I could have stated the same thing. Take another swing... take another shot... indeed, so many of these English expressions are very physical, if not outright violent. And imagine if I suggested the student take another "crack" at it; ey'd probably be in drug rehab before I could get a word in edgewise.

1 comment:

AOOP said...

BROOK DRIVE NEWS FLASH: ATTENTION LOOP, SOOP, MOOP, KOOP AND MOM: DAVE JACKSON SITING!
WHERE: ANNA'S WEBSITE - http://medtravels.blogspot.com/
WHEN: THIS MORNING
JUST LETTING YOU ALL KNOW!
LOVE, AOOP