Monday, March 25, 2013

It's a soft g.

As I was running some errands today, I stopped off at Trader Joe's for some groceries. I approached the cashier and found myself behind a teacher from an area high school that I had worked with for a week when I was a sub. He was a baseball coach, which I am sure he's good at, because he is not the greatest teacher on the block. He was teaching English and mispronounced gerund. I digress; I'm not here to make fun of his teaching skills, or lack of comprehending rudimentary pronunciation guidelines for his native tongue and teaching subject matter. I should state that I didn't realize I was behind him until... well let me start over.

At Trader Joe's I was buying more than the three things I had gone in for and was regretting not getting a basket. My arms chock full of produce, and some dried mangoes (damn you Joe!) I looked for the shortest line. I am very skilled in always picking the wrong line--I had done it at Whole Foods 15 minutes earlier*, I always get the chatty cashier, or the person who doesn't know how a debit card works, or the classic "shoot I forgot mushrooms, can you go wait while I take forty five minutes to go grab some?" egomaniac. It's a problem I have. I saw a line with one guy in it. In his arms were two bottles of wine. BINGO! That's the line. So the cashier speedily rings up the wine and announces the money due. "$4.98." The guy hands the cashier a $5. I look at the bill, and I am gobsmacked that I have not misheard the total. Five dollars? For two full sized bottles of wine?!? I have to look at this fellow patron to see what kind of person would buy that kind of wine, and there he is: the man who doesn't know when to use a hard G and when not to. Fascinating.

*At Whole Foods it was a chatty cashier who decided to engage the customer before me in a conversation about the documentary Forks Over Knives. I fully support that sort of conversation, but I'm not sure it was the most appropriate timing, given that there were three people waiting. I just wanted to buy my ginger, beets and Portland Bee Balm! Although it gave me time to try to decipher whether this chatty cashier was wearing crazy eyeliner or if she had a face tattoo. Jury is still out, though I hope that it was make up.


errin julkunen-pedersen said...

in defense of the (g)erunder, 2 buck chuck kind of rules. and not just in the awesome "this wine is only 2 dollars" kind of way, but in that "hey, this actually tastes pretty good, and the wine world agrees" kind of way. big ups for coach. :)

Melinda said...

I woke up to the sounds of John watching the most excellent video in your post. Had to chuckle to myself when he explained because I have a student whose name I've been mispronouncing all year with a soft G. Geran, which you'd think would sound like Jaron. But no, Weird Utah names prevail.