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Neoschool Survival #2: Translating Teacher-Talk

by tambourine_chimp



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 teacher says:

"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 there.


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 involves.

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, is it?"

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 for you!"

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 education, eh?"

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!

The End

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.

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