A Question of Language

AQuestionOfLanguage

My dear OH has some endearing habits, and one of them is to regularly impart little bits of random knowledge – he calls them ‘Interesting Facts of the Day’. The latest one of these turned into a rather amusing conversation.

It went like this:

OH: “Did you know that language is handled in a particular part of the brain?”

Me: “Yeah, colloquially known as the ‘language centre'”

OH: “Broca’s .. ”

Me: “Yes, Broca’s Area”

OH: “Well, did you know that if you learn a second language it’s handled in the same area?”

Me: “Yes, go on … ”

OH: “But if you learn a second language as an adult, you grow a new bit of brain in that area, just for the new language?

Me: “Wow .. you do?”

OH: “Yes!

Me: “Wow. I’ve grown a new bit of brain, and you haven’t!!”

OH: “Yeeees. Demoralising, isn’t it?”

Me: “No! No – you should learn! You can do it! You have the brain.”

OH (Musing): “I wonder what happens to those people who learn more than one new language? What if they learn six new languages – do they grow six new bits of brain? Why don’t their heads explode?”

Me: “Hahaha! You probably handle all the new languages in the one new bit”

OH (Getting a bit sidetracked): “Hey, why is the butter still out?”

Me: “Perchè ho ancora fame”

OH (Trying again): “Why is the butter out?”

Me: “Perchè non ho finito la mia colazione!”

OH: “But why is the butter out? It’ll get all hot and miserable!1

Me: “I told you. I’m still hungry and I haven’t finished my breakfast”

*Pause*

OH: “Yes, but you told me with your new bit of brain, and I heard it with my old one!”

Me: “There is a solution to that … ”

1 OH uses some very picturesque language, sometimes. But in fact I forgot to put the butter away and it did indeed get hot and miserable. Positively depressed and tired of life, in fact, judging by the way it had sagged and was sitting huddled at the bottom of the dish.

It’s never dull with OH

Jan03-1Web

We are both still suffering with this Hideous Virus, so we are languishing at home, apart from the odd shopping trip and unavoidable outings like walking the dogs and so on.  You’d think, perhaps, that conversation would flag.  You’d be wrong.

Coming out of Morriways the other day with a laden trolley, OH pushing for a change, the following took place:

Me (rushing forward a few paces, but a little too late to stop a large pack of Cushelle plummeting to the ground): ‘Aargh!  Wait, wait!’

OH (looking at me sternly as if it were my fault): ‘Those toilet rolls are Errant!’

Me: Ahahahahahahahahahaha!’

OH: What?

Me:  Errant!  Errant toilet rolls!’

OH: Well … well … well, it’s a good word!  That’s twice they’ve tried to throw themselves off the trolley!’

And it’s true. There are some things that, no matter how carefully you balance them atop your carefully stacked trolley, will always unbalance themselves and try to get lost, or trip someone up.  I wondered briefly what would happen if I took them back inside and tried to exchange them for a better-behaved pack, citing OH’s complaint about their willful nature.  I decided against it on the basis that we’ll probably want to shop there again in the not-too-distant future.

We got them home without further mishaps and I’ve shut them in the spare room, but a part of me still wonders if, next time I look, they’ll have climbed the bookshelf or be found nestling cosily among the empty cardboard boxes and padded envelopes in the ‘Might Come In Handy To Post Things In’ pile.  Or perhaps I’ll meet them halfway down the stairs in the middle of the night.

Maybe that’s why public toilets have theirs locked into special toilet roll prisons and attached securely to the walls.  They’re fed up with the damn things throwing themselves to the floor and going off for a wander.