Neoschool Survival #2: Translating Teacher-Talk
You know what I mean; they say one thing and mean something else entirely.
This is either to make themselves sound impressive, thereby boosting their egos
to the size of moons, or they do so because they can't be bothered to say what
they really mean, or they wish to keep their real feelings under a bushel.
For example, a teacher may say this:
"Good morning, fine pupils of mine!"
When what he really means is this:
"Ugh, not the start of another day with this rabble! They'll be the first to
go when Almighty Sloth is restored to power..."
Typical teachers, they never mean what they say. If that's the case, how're
we supposed to learn anything valuable from them? How do we know that when a
"I before E, except after C."
Do they really mean to say:
"This is a simplistic rule of thumb that even the Cave People of Tyrannia have
mastered. Now only if you lot were as smart as them…"
How are we to know? And besides, that rule isn't always true, is it? I mean,
there are a few exceptions like receive…no, wait that's following the rule.
I can't actually think of any exceptions, but you mark my words, they are out
The Teacher-Talk Encyclopedia (Look! I can spell encyclopeida!)
This list goes as so; first you'll see what the teacher says, followed by what
the teacher actually means to say. Once or twice there may even be advice
on how to deal with the problem of translating and assessing the problem it
What they say: "We are now going to take the register, please say "Here"
if you are."
What they mean: "I'm getting old and my memory's failing, plus having
you lot changing your seating plan every other day doesn't help either. Oh,
and I keep forgetting what you all look like, which is strange because most
of you are Kikos…"
What they say: "Have you all done your homework?"
What they mean: "Of course you haven't done your homework, I
wouldn't even do it. But as it's my job to assign and ask for it, I better put
up a good show in case the Head comes in and docks my wages…again."
What they say: "We will now sing a song. For those that don't know it,
allow me to show you how it goes."
What they mean: "My ego tells me I have a much better voice than any
of you, so I must grace the song with my melodic tones before you lot tear it
apart with your horrendous howling."
What they say: "Let's all be formal here, shall we? You can all call
me by my first name."
What they mean: "…which I shall never tell you and if you even ask me
for it I'll call you a lot less formal names then you can ever imagine, sunshine."
What they say: "You, boy! Are you eating food in class? Have you got
enough for everyone?"
What they mean: "I sincerely hope you do, because I forgot my packed
lunch again and…oh, is it chewing gum? Never mind."
What they say: "Did everyone have a good weekend?"
What they mean: "I hope you did, because it'll make my revenge all the
more sweet when you hear the 50-page essay on the historical importance of sand
I'm about to land on you. And if you didn't…well, today's not your lucky day,
What they say: "When I was at school things were much better…"
What they mean: "Because either there wasn't any school when I was young,
or I've forgotten the days when everyone called me Specs."
What they say: "That Mynci! Off the ceiling fan at once, or it's detention
What they mean: "Fall for my bluff, because if I can't keep you from
swinging around in circles on school property, however do I hope to be able
to detain you after school hours?"
What they say: "And how are my positively delightful happy, shiny
students this fine day?"
What they mean: "I've been given a raise, and no thanks to you lot."
What they say: "No, no, no! Darigan won the war, but soon lost interest
in Meridell, and left them alone to clean up after their reckless destruction,
how many times do I have to go on repeating myself? It's your history, you louts,
and it's not that hard to remember!"
What they mean: "…and this is coming from somebody who failed his History
exams fourteen times in a row before he was accepted due to sheer perseverance."
What they say: "Morning people! Eat as much candy as you like in my
lessons, doodle all you want, scream 'til you're hoarse! It's your life, and
you have to live it to the full!"
What they mean: "Because the Head's about to come in any minute now
after a little bird told him that Class 3B is unruly and that their teacher
deserves better, so could he please be transferred to that nice little well-behaved
bunch in 2A?"
What they say: "Who said it was time to go home, hmm? My watch says
there's still five minutes left to go, so everyone sit down."
What they mean: "Heh, heh, heh…you sly Gelert, you! None of the young
fools even suspects that you set your watch back five minutes!"
What they say: "Today, class, we will be making a Strawberry Shortcake…have
you all brought your ingredients? Good, here's one I made earlier."
What they mean: "Did I say made? I meant bought from a chef friend of
mine, but what you don't know can't hurt you…unless he poisoned it."
What they say: "PE time now, everyone out of the field, ten laps now!
I know it's raining, but it'll do you good!"
What they mean: "Well, of course, it won't really, unless you see taking
a few weeks off from school due to pneumonia good."
What they say: "Don't read the Neopian Times! The rubbish published
in there will rot your brains, and then what space will there be for any decent
What they mean: "Don't read the Neopian Times because if you read TC's
article I'll have to create a whole new language!"
Well, there you go! Now you should have some vague ideas of what your teacher
is actually trying to say when he tells you to "Write that essay!"
Hope this helped somewhat, and if you all want a third lesson (a third?! Come
on…) then just neomail me and I'll see what I can come up with.
Remember! If you want to keep ahead of the class (and the teacher), read your
Neoschool Survival lessons!
Author's Note: No teacher's brains - no matter how small - were picked to
gather this information. Promise. So if your teacher comes to class with a vacant
expression and looks fit to move to the Haunted Woods, don't try and pin the
blame on me.