Saturday, December 29, 2007

Translating the Crazy-Talk

Here are some excerpts from my family dictionary/phrasebook:

“Back in the days when God was young.”
- used by my grandfather to refer to the era of his childhood. (Clarification: He is not referring to himself as God. He is only implying that he is as old as God.)

“Hilarious!”
- an adjective applied by members of my family to British television comedies (a.k.a. Brit-coms). Despite the fact that we all speaka-da-same-English, British humour doesn’t translate well into North American. These shows make my eyes glaze over. Why are my Russian-Jewish family members such die-hard Queen-loving anglophiles? I wish I could tell you.

In case you are curious, here is a link to a singularly unfunny Brit-com. Warning: content may make you drowsy.

“Birthday Party”
- a synonym for “obligation”. The pre-Birthday-Party phase, up to one month in duration, allows ample opportunity for arguing over whose turn it is to host the party. Other divisive aspects of the Birthday Party include date of execution, and the politics of sharing a party with more than one celebrant. Further complications arise when other obligatory dates are closeby on the calendar, such as Mother’s Day, or a Jewish holiday.

One year my birthday fell on Yom Kippur, which is officially a solemn day of atonement and fasting. I was all for balancing lit birthday candles on an empty plate, but no one else thought that would be cool.

“Telephone”
- a weapon of verbal destruction used without restraint in the Birthday Party wars. Violations of the Geneva Conventions have been noted.

“Small slice”
- the serving size of Birthday Cake most commonly requested at the Birthday Party. If it is not translucent, then you have not sliced it thinly enough. The slice may be refused. “Just eat as much as you want and leave the rest” is not an acceptable suggestion.

3 comments:

San said...

Love the translations, Sparkling. I relate to a few, especially that last item, the "just a small slice" phenomenon. SO maddening. And if you dare offer a small slice without being requested? "I didn't ask for a small portion." The one who recycles gifts is the perpetrator of this one too.

R.E.H. said...

"Small Slice"?

Unheard of in my family. "Cut me a big slice of that cake, will'ya?", is a much more likely saying at a Birthday Party in the R.E.H. family. Seconds are required too!

Have a happy new year!

jameil1922 said...

translucent slices?! oh my! lol. but those are the kind of slices i like... w/o icing. most of the time i just forgo it altogether. British humour is ridiculous. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!!? they were showing some show on the plane once and it didn't help that they started it partway thru the episode. every 10 minutes i would laugh but it was still partly in confusion and i knew there was a lot of stuff going over my head.