Adventures in English
Please enjoy the following snippet of daily life, from the prospective of ordinary English folk living and working and using English as they were taught. English language is not always explained in the grammar books, not the way we use it during casual encounters. After the interchange I shall explain the terms outlined in italics.
Two friends, Sally and Joanne meet in the park for lunch.
SALLY: Hey girl, you've been a stranger lately! What's up?
JOANNE: Please, spare me the interrogation Sally. It's my Joe, you know my child the alien. He's been running me ragged the past few days.
SALLY: Oh no, you mean you haven't settled the affair about his wild child girlfriend yet?
JOANNE: Settled the affair? Have you lost your mind? It's taken on a life of it's own my dear. Joe is insisting he move into 'Wild Childs' drug infested pad, and work at her tattoo parlour after school!
SALLY: You simply must be putting me on Joanne! Do you mean he's seriously considering shacking up with that person?
JOANNE: Get with it Sally, he's already moved in with her, bag and baggage. The only thing left to cart over to her 'home', and I use that term lightly, is Joes computer and his game gear. I am at my honest to goodness wits end with the entire situation.
SALLY: Oh I am so very sorry things have taken on such a sour turn. I know you had big plans for Joe and his aspirations to make something of his dreams. Has he completely slipped up on his school work?
JOANNE: At the moment he's still keeping up appearances, and is exhibiting a semblance of normalcy where his studies are concerned, but I know it's all for naught.
SALLY: Well my friend, please drop by my place when you finish work, and we'll put our heads together and try to work out a plan. All's not lost yet! We are smarter than his wiped out girlfriend, make no mistake about that!
JOANNE: That's the best pep talk I've heard in awhile. Yes, lets brainstorm shall we, while sipping a couple of cold ones!
You've been a stranger lately means you haven't been socializing, haven't been your usual self. It's most often uttered by friends, but it can be said by any acquaintance you meet during the day. What's up means hello.
Spare me the interrogation is a way of saying do not question me, I'm in no mood for it. My child the alien is often how parents describe their teenagers because they act so oddly on occasion. Running me ragged means someone is asking you to do extra work, extra chores and they are not being nice about asking.
Settled the affair means to bring about an end to some worrisome situation. Wild Child is a person that does not follow the rules of society.
Have you lost your mind means to not think clearly, to lose your God given common sense. It's taken on a life of it's own means a situation has gotten way out of control and feels like it's a living thing. Drug infested pad is a place where drug dealers meet and use illegal substances.
Must be putting me on means someone is clearly joking with you. Shacking up is living with another person, usually male to female occupants.
Get with it means be serious. To move bag and baggage means to move someplace and take all your earthly possessions with you. To cart over means moving or bringing something from one place to the other. I use that term lightly means you simply can't be serious about the term you are using, and more often than not an opposite word should be used. Wit's end means you have no patience left, you've arrived at the end of your self control.
A sour turn means plans have gone seriously and terribly in the wrong direction for everyone concerned. Make something of his dreams means to be successful in a chosen field. Slipped up means to fail.
Keeping up appearances means living well, at least by societies standards, but in private things are terrible. Semblance of normalcy means acting as if everything is ok, exhibiting everyday, normal behaviour. All for naught means failure even after a huge effort is made to achieve something.
Put our heads together means to work as a pair for a common goal. All's not lost yet means there is still a glimmer of hope even though it's hard to see. Wiped out usually means mentally tired or unhealthy. If it is used regarding illegal activities it means someone is a heavy drug user or alcoholic.
Pep talk means to encourage someone never to give up. To brainstorm means to think of new ideas for a difficult and ongoing problem and is usually a group effort. Sipping a couple of cold ones means to enjoy a cold beer with a friend.
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