Seems like only day-before-yesterday I was raving about Jeffrey’s crisp (and possibly unintentional) wit in this post. We met tonight for our first (and last!) language exchange.
I’m currently working on one simple phrase in Cantonese. One phrase. See, I found a way better place to buy fruit (much bigger cup for the same $1.50). Unfortunately, it’s a kiosk manned by a most curmudgeonly man in HK, who either can’t speak English or refuses to. My second trip to him, I tried out my Canto “good morning” and he actually turned around and looked at me, so I think speaking Cantonese with him is the way to go. So just for him, I’m currently working on the phrase “a fruit cup please”, which is quite the tonal tightrope.
Jeffrey was not pleased with my crappy pronunciation of this phrase and commenced telling me that anything other than perfect pronunciation simply will not do. He was lecturing me! I asked him how long he’s been speaking English – he said 26 years – and I pointed out that his English pronunciation was less-than-perfect (although understandable) so why should my bar be at “perfect” after a couple weeks, when he’s operating at less-than-perfect after 26 years?!
Then it came. “When you realize that God has a plan for your life, then you will strive for perfection in everything you do.” Oh no. What do you say to that?! I just said, “Do you have any more English grammar questions before I go?”
Assign him The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carrol for English homework : )