OK Friends… in one of my regular gaffes, I’ve accidentally published this post unfinished, unedited and 2 days early!!

PLEASE FORGIVE my senior stupendous stupidity and ignore this posting (or not, you’re the BOSS!)… I will finish this and re-send on Sunday as per my usual pattern. 

Thanks for bearing with my twitchy PUBLISH finger… hope you’ll come back and see me in 2 days…


panda shoots.jpg

I get confused sometimes. OK, often.

Language is a crazy thing, aint it?

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

“Why?” asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“Well, I’m a panda,” he says. “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation.  

-Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China.                                Eats, shoots and leaves-

 In 2003, Lynne Truss wrote a non-fiction bestseller titled… you guessed it… Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It’s a tongue-in-cheek look at how communication can be thrown in the air like pizza dough, becoming a total gooey mess when simple punctuation marks are either omitted or improperly used in writing.

I love languages, like I love music.

Languages are music, they have a rhythm, an accent, a pace that distinguishes each in a similar way that we distinguish folk music from country music from classical music.

When we hear a non-native person speak in English, most of us recognize their accent as Spanish, or Indian, or Russian. The notes and rhythm are different but unique. It’s music, plain and simple.

I’m tutoring a handsome, oh-so-polite, young Indian man, we’ll call him Rakesh (no, it’s not his real name) who wants to pass his IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test to stay here in Canada and unbeknownst to him, he’s teaching me as much as I’m hoping to teach him.

But he thinks I’m an English God… a deity of language. I don’t want that responsibility on my shoulders. I’m already sweating bullets, worrying that he may not pass his exams – at a cost of $350 – in January.

He formally calls me “Sir” but in a funny twist