A matter of black and white. (But don’t even THINK about translating that into Spanish!)


Perhaps you can say “ebony and ivory” instead?


As part of his military service during the Second World War, my father was sent to study German at the University of Chicago for several months.


To ensure that all of the men enrolled in the course actually attended, another solder of some rank or another was assigned to monitor the class.  But he clearly didn’t pay much attention to the actual instruction.


At the beginning of every session, the instructor would bid the men welcome.  “Guten Morgen, meine Herren!” she would say.  “Good morning, gentlemen!”  (Literally, “Good morning, my misters,” or something to that effect.”)  After hearing “meine Herren” week after week, the class monitor grew suspicious and demanded to know “All right, where the hell’s Monahan?”


It’s easy to laugh at such linguistic incompetence.


But here’s a specimen that’s both funnier and much more depressing.


Posted from Park City, Utah



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  • Scott_Lloyd

    Regarding the Spanish teacher who got fired for writing the Spanish word for black on the chalkboard, I am reminded of this quote from Mark Twain: “God made the idiot for practice, and then he made the school board.”

    • DanielPeterson

      LOL! Great comment. And very apropos.