One of the most wonderfully glorious things about living and working in a bi-lingual environment is the criss-crossing of sayings, the tangle of phrases and the slip-ups of idioms. When I was studying French I made my share of language messes ending in many a silly situation. I love these word messes because they are humorous (not in a mean way!) and really make me appreciate the nuances of a language. You never quite realize how odd idioms and phrases can be until you hear someone using, or trying to use one and having it not quite work out because the original saying or idiom is simply illogical or odd to begin with. Today was one such day when the phrase simply got tangled and created a rather funny mental image.
Boss absolutely loves to use English idioms and cliché sayings. We suspect that he researches and practices them before meetings then tosses them into his lectures/pep talks nearly every week. Some days he gets them spot on and other days, not so much. This morning we were talking about ways to advertise to bring more students to the school. None of us were particularly helpful, although we all had a great laugh at a video A found that promoted learning English. Perhaps it was the giggles left from the video, but when Boss declared that he would keep squeezing his brain for ideas, we couldn’t help but laugh more. The phrase makes perfect sense to me, but the mental image of squeezing a brain (still inside the head of course, therefore really just squeezing your head) was just too funny. I’m not sure if Boss realized what he said was funny, but I hope for his sake that the brain squeezing yields some great ideas and not only headaches. For today, I want to remember the brain squeezing and the nice sense of mutually supportive community we had going at meeting. May the idioms continue and may we find a way to help Boss reach his goal.