01 May

rediscovering a word series 3: sexy

Who taught: Patrick, Rachel, Andrew, Beth, Mark, Jake and Carol

Let me start with a challenge for you! From today and from this moment, watch TV shows or movies that are in English. I know you want to watch shows and movies that are in your mother tongue. Do you know why? It is because you are comfortable. Of course, it is. You have a choice. One asks you to stay in your comfort zone which is easy and a lot of people do and the other takes your strong will to get out of the comfort zone. Trust me on this. If you make a decision and be persistent, your English will get better. Additionally, make watching them be one of your everyday routines just like you go to a bathroom every morning. Oh, you go in the evening? Whatever way it is. It has to be a routine. If not, chances are you will fall back into your comfort zone again.

Hope you take my challenge and make a good progress soon! So, had you watch American TV shows, one of the words you would hear a lot would be “sexy.” I swear that people on TV use it so often that I strongly believed that I could use this anytime to any person.

So, a few days ago, when I met my friends, I used it. Of course, I hesitated but thought it should be OK. Oops! I was very very wrong.

Here is what happened. Stella, Patrick’s daughter, was having fun in a chair and her hair became out of control. Suddenly, I remembered an expression, “sexy bed-hair.” You know… when you wake up in the morning, you hair is totally unorganized and messy but, to your significant other, it SHOULD look sexy, right? I will leave it up to your imagination what would happen after that look. 🙂

Well, I said, “Stella got sexy bed-hair.” As soon as I said, “Oh no…. Terry.. Sexy?”

So far, it sounds like I am innocent. Don’t you think? The issue was Stella is only one year old.

My friends told me that people do not use “sexy” to a little kid. My non-native English speaker friends, be careful! Just because you hear a specific word very often on TV, it does not mean that you can use it all the time. There are times that you cannot use them which is not easy to learn. I guess you gotta just experience just like me. Poor Terry.

Patrick and Rachel, Stella is so cute and I love you guys.

By the way, are there any other times that I should not say sexy? #confused.

20 Jun

penny wise pound foolish

Who taught: Carol and Mark

Penny wise pound foolish (source: http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/)

In the U.S., there is mother’s day and father’s day separately whereas there is parents’ day in Korea. Yesterday was the father’s day in the U.S. I was thinking, if my father is around me, what kind of gift I should give to him. And, then, I watched U.S. Open final round. What an amazing play and gift for a father’s day! Rory Mcilroy finished his final putt and hugged his father, saying, “Happy father’s day! This is for you.” Oh man, if I were his father, I would be so proud of him that I feel like I have everything in the world. Great job, Rory! Looking forward to seeing your more often on the leader board!

A few days ago, we had a housewarming party at my place. My friends, Carol and Mark, brought two bottles of wine. I believe you all know that every wine has its own name or brand, right? So, the wine Mark brought was Jargon and the one Carol brought was Pennywise. Carol explained that why they brought those wines. There is a jargon, penny wise pound foolish. She asked me whether I can feel it or not. I said, “hmm…. not really!” First of all, since I am in the U.S., I am not really familiar with the English word, pound, even though I realized what it is later. Anyway, can you feel it? I think you can.

It is always great to hear an example of usages of an expression. When can we use this expression?

For example, you decided not to buy a gum because it is too expensive, then later you decided to go on a luxurious and upscale trip to Europe. Basically, you were trying to save a penny and then later you spend a lot of pounds, or dollars, on something that is too much for your budget.

Well, I am sure we all make mistakes that are penny wise pound foolish. I really want to buy GTI but, if I buy that car now, then it would be a good example of being penny wise pound foolish, right? I know, I know. But I really like that car. Jessy, can I buy it?

By the way, what kind of gift did you give to your father yesterday? How about winning the U.S. Open next year? 🙂

06 May

hammock and banana hammock

Who taught: Sangeetha, Alex, Phil, Pat, Mark and Kelly

banana hammock (source: http://www.sampa.com/)

Last Saturday, I moved all of my stuff from my old apartment into the new house. Many friends showed up to help the move. I would like to thank all. It was a lot easier with their help. Luckily, the weather was also amazing. To take advantage of it, I bought hot dogs, pizzas and some drinks to have a small spontaneous party at my house.

The move was done pretty quickly and we hang out in the backyard. Hack ya! That was something I have always wanted to do with my friends when I buy a house. Yay! Finally, it happened. And, I am sure there will be a lot more parties. It was so great to have them in my place.

At one point during the party, Phil said, “You guys should sling a hammock in the backyard here. That would be perfect.”

Do you guys know what hammock is? Here is the definition!

A bed made of canvas or of rope mesh and suspended by cords at the ends, used as garden furniture or on board a ship.

I am sure you’ve seen this when you were on a vacation at a resort. The most important thing you should keep in mind is that the shape of hammock, especially if someone lies in it. It becomes very narrow because of the weight of the lying person and its shape is very round. Can you imagine? I am sure you have a great imagination here.

As we talked about hammock, Sangeetha said, “Hey, speaking of hammock… Terry, have you heard the expression, banana hammock?”

I said, “I have but I totally forgot what it means. Does it have something to do with sexual stuff? Oh, does it mean a banana-shaped penis?”

Phil said, “Good guess but not that one.”

Actually, I was pretty close because it has something to do with penis. So, instead of telling you the definition of banana hammock, let me remind you of the shape of hammock when you lie in it. Imagine yourself being a penis, then what is hammock? It is something men wear but very tight. It’s a speedo or male thong.

What a great expression! It is so perfect. I am sure somebody, looking at the shape of a hammock with a person in it, thought of speedo or thong that men wear. Don’t you think they look exactly same?

Now, what if I go to a department store and ask a sales person like, “So, I am looking for a banana hammock? Do you carry them?” Would they understand what I mean? Would they look at me like a crazy person? Probably yes in the U.S., right?

03 Mar

What starfish?

Who taught: Jake, Andrew, Carol and Mark

Chocolate Starfish (source: http://www.choconet1.com/)

You would not believe what I learned lately. This one is literally crazy. Whoever came up with this expression, he/she must have an amazing imagination. Or, maybe it is a kid. Very possible!

OK! So, I was with my friends, having dinner a few days ago. I cannot remember how we ended up talking about this expression but I do remember the expression so vividly. This is definitely one of the expressions that I would not forget at all. Anyways, Jake said, “chocolate starfish.” And.. I was totally puzzled and asked, “What? What starfish?” “Can you guess what it is, Terry?” said he.

I tried to think of the meaning of it. I knew it cannot be a kind of starfish at all because that is too easy. Besides, all of my friends started to giggle as they heard it. So, it’s gotta be something very funny. “What the… I cannot think of any. You gotta tell me.” And, Jake was like, “Think about the color of chocolate and the shape of the starfish.” Poor Terry… I tried again but no success. So, I had to cheat, looking up urban dictionary.

As the search result showed up, I had to be shocked. “Oh My …. What? Really? This is amazing.” Guess what I found? For this expression, I do not ask you to feel it because you have to feel it as I reveal what it means.

It means….. Oh man.. It is so embarrassing that I feel like I should not tell you. OK… Here we go! It means… “Asshole.” Wait!!! Here comes more specific one! It is “asshole, specifically when it is encrusted with fecal matter.”

I am sorry if you are reading this post while you are eating something. 🙂 Now, you could understand why Jake asked me to think of the color of chocolate and the shape of starfish, right?

Let me guess! This post would be one of the favorites for you guys. Am I right? I am not sure whether I can eat chocolates for a while or not. I will think of this expression every time I see chocolate from now on.

14 Nov

nice meeting you vs. nice seeing you

Who taught: Jake, Carol and Mark

Nice to meet you. (source: funny-cats-pictures1.blogspot.com)

Last week, I had dinner together with Jake, Carol and Mark, watching Univ of Pitt’s football game. As I walked up to the second floor of the restaurant, I saw a big group of people and one of them was Christian who is also one of my old colleagues. I thought Jake, Carol and Mark were all together with Christian’s group and was kind of confused to see so many people that I do not know at all. Looking for them, I realized that they were not within the group. They were sitting separately and the group was for Python programming language discussion.

Like an hour later, Christian came to us to say hello and chatted with us. Then, as he about to leave, he told me, “Hey! See you, Terry!” Then, I said, “Sure, Nice meeting you!” As soon as I said it, Christian and Jake were like, “What? Did you just say, ‘nice meeting you’?” “Yeah, what is wrong?” said I.

Do you see any issue with it? I mean, the word, meet, means literally, “come together” or “get together.” With that said, the sentence I said was perfectly fine. Don’t you agree? Well… Jake explained to me, “People say ‘nice meeting you’ when they meet for the first time.” He continued, “If you already know someone and you get to meet him/her again, you should say, ‘nice seeing you'” What the h**k?

Carol also told me a story of an episode of 30 rock, one of the famous tv shows in America, in which one lady tried to play a mind game with another guy, by trying to say “Nice meeting you,” even though she already met him beforehand. So, be careful with your choice of a word.

Another thing I want to point out is when to use “meeting” and when to use “to meet.” When you meet someone for the first time ever and introduce each other, then you should say, “Nice to meet you.” Then, you had a chat with him/her for a while and you need to say good bye to him/her as you leave the place, at that moment, you need to say, “Nice meeting you.” It is because ‘to verb’ implies the future whereas ‘verb + ing’ implies the past. Pretty complicated, huh? I am sure most American would not care this kind of subtle difference but that is the correct way. But, the point is do not make the same mistake I made. Sorry, Christian! I did not know that. Next time, I will remember to say, “nice seeing you.” It was really nice seeing you, Christian. Take care!