It starts

I have just turned in my first piece of coursework, and it's probably absolute rubbish.

(Note: I'm having to start saying rubbish now instead of crap. My American Brothers and Sisters will wonder why that is, since cr*p is not a bad word. Tell me about it, My American Brothers and Sisters. It's slightly crude, as it does reference fecal matter, so you wouldn't really use it at church or anything, but it is nowhere near an obscenity. And even though I checked with like 6 people about the use of cr*p and they all said it wasn't a bad word, I'm slowly noticing that no one else says it. So I will have to stop as well. From now on everything is rubbish. Sigh . . . .)

Anyway, yes. First coursework. They call them all essays over here. What's fun (or, you know, panic-inducing) is the part where I think I'm in a familiar system because people are speaking the English and writing the papers, and using things like the Harvard citation style which I've never heard of but hey, Harvard, but then it turns out I'm wrong. There are all these little rules that I don't even know about. And even though I tell myself, "Look. You have a degree in English. Writing is what you do," it doesn't help.

Things had been pretty relaxed up until this point, because I think the department was trying to ease us in the the fact that we're actually going like lambs to the slaughter, but now it all begins in earnest. I will have to start being a scholar now, and part of this is that I have to stop procrastinating. Although hey, this last essay was finished like 90 minutes before the deadline, so I really think I'm headed in the right direction!

I must say also that this department is great. The lecturers are friendly and approachable and they hold meetings to see how things are going, and they didn't even stab these two students to death yesterday who took the How's It Going? meeting and turned it into their own personal Whine Fest. ("Back when that one lecturer told us all that we would be punished for any kind of plagiarism, I thought he was being mean." "At my old school I never had to cite stuff." "Can you have some windows built in the classrooms?" "I wasn't breastfed as a baby.") This went on and on! Please, foodie, could you make me a t-shirt that says "Shut up" on the front and "No, seriously. Shut. Up." on the back? Thank you ever so.


Grumbee said... [reply]

If you ask me, I think the British not saying that word is a load of crap!
However, at least you had the sense to notice the lingo and adjust accordingly.
Since being in Geneva, I have worked with a number of other interns from countries such as France, Switzerland, Morocco, Italy, Germany, and Russia. And all of them, without fail, have been proficient in the use of English swear words, specifically the sh** word! I have not said that word or similar words once the entire time but it hasn't seem to catch on.
What is it with people from other countries, who when they find out there's an American around feel the need to swear in English?

Nemesis said... [reply]

Maybe they're just being courteous. :-) Or maybe they're swearing about you and want you to know it.

Cicada said... [reply]

I loved being in Italy and seeing English swear words spelled wrong in grafitti.

Also, I like your shirt idea, Nem.

Also, what rules were different out of curiosity?

Savvymom said... [reply]

Whats with you having to conform and not use words the redcoats don't use? Malcolm could say whatever he wanted (almost) over here and he even picked up a few of our slang terms. LAME.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Yeah, only now your husband uses all of Malcolm's dirty British swears too, doesn't he?

daltongirl said... [reply]

Second favorite instance of Japanese swearing in English: They use these little plastic sheets in between their notebook pages, so the next page down doesn't get pencil marks on it. This is called a "shitajiki." So this sweet, meek, modest girl has one, carrying it around on top of all her books, and it's got the first four letters of that Japanese word printed in HUGE, bright yellow letters across the whole thing. Basically the size of an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.

Being stupid, being a high school student, and being me, I tell her what it means. She almost dies of mortification. But I have laughed about it ever since.

Also they love to flip people off over there. No clue what it means, but it's dang funny.

Your essay is, and will be judged to be, brilliant.

kristen said... [reply]

There's nothing wrong with the word 'crap'; I use it quite frequently. It just seems to express almost exactly what you're trying to say. So keep using it Nem. If you don't use it over there, be sure to incorporate it back into your vocabulary when you return.

Th. said... [reply]


Hooray for:

a) librarians!

b) shutting up!

c) Harvard!

d) crap!

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

I wish you would terminate the use of academical language on your blog, because--well--I went to UVSC...


JB said... [reply]

They do the quotes thing wrong over in Brittain. And by that I mean their way makes more sense. For example someone might say "I'm a Brit and I don't say crap". <--See that? The period goes after the quote marks. I think that's smart. At least that's what they told us the Brits do when I was in ELang 330R. They also told us some things that the Brit in my class had never encountered...so this may have been wrong too.

What other rules do they have that you find interesting, weird, or hard to get used to?

Panini said... [reply]

In grad school never having cited a paper before....amazing they graduated. Hope you get your new shirt soon.

Panini said... [reply]

p.s. Creative Grumbeer...do you have a blog? I couldn't get to it. I think it would be great to read you...perhaps someone could be your "Blog Professor" and make it a class...just for a fun incentive. :)

Nemesis said... [reply]

Cicada, mostly I know about the apostrophe thing that Jessica mentioned. And I'm sure when my paper comes back with marks all over it I'll pick up what the others are. Some of it is just different attitudes about things. They would rather have us including more citations from other sources and less of our own observations/opinions, because they want to know we've read a lot.

Daltongirl--my Institute teacher flipped me off. I think he was counting and just chose a different way of indicating #2 than you or I would. Also point #2 lasted for a good while.

I know you do, Kristen, it's one of the things I love about you!


Ah yes, I forgot about you, Stupid Ramblings. But hey, if you can't run with the wolves . . .

Kelly said... [reply]

I want one of those shirts for the days when I just. don't. feel. like. smiling at. people. anymore.

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

Speaking of running with wolves...the new R Jordan novel is out--it's real and it's spectacular...

p.s. you left me dangling a bit. If you can't run with the wolves...WHAT"S THE REST OF THE QUOTE?


Lost in Lehi.

CoolMom said... [reply]

You know, it's kind of like "If you can't run with the big dogs...."

Savvymom said... [reply]

Nem. You still didn't answer my question about the word CRAP. You just changed the subject.
If you're not going to say it anymore I'm going to have to say it for you, and then Savvy will start saying it. so you should just say it and spare me the double duty.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Savvymom, I can say it to YOU, I just can't say it to the British people anymore. And if you teach Savvybaby the word of "crap" I won't get you anything for Christmas or your birthday.

redlaw said... [reply]

Oh but please come back and say "bloody" in front of everything - that's really a must if you are going to pick up the lingo...though I think it is the equivalent to the f-bomb.

Julie said... [reply]

I am very surprised that your locals don't use the word crap, since I use it, though not so much at work more at home.

I never appreciated that we don't just spell words differently, apparently our punctuation is different too. But what I love most is that you call what I call a full stop a period (.)

Ah I love the education I receive here!

April said... [reply]

But. They say crap on "Bridget Jones's Diary!" Which means that if it's good enough for Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, it's good enough for the rest of England! Right?
And do you also say bullocks?

chosha said... [reply]

*LOL* April...that would be 'bollocks'. Bullocks are cattle, while bollocks...just one bit of the bull. ^_~

Re: the new word phenomenon - I've been home two years now and I'm still saying 'bathroom' instead of 'toilet', 'sweater' instead of 'jumper' and 'candy' instead of 'lollies'. In Japan all my foreign friends were American.

"At my old school I never had to cite stuff."
Wow, straight to grad school from high school - that's impressive. *rolls eyes*

Nemesis said... [reply]

Kelly, if I get some made I'll send you one!


Redlaw, I just can't do it. I got in trouble for saying "bloody" once when I was 9 and I've never been able to say it since.

Hi Julie! Yes, I'm having to get used to the "full stop" thing as well, and what I believe you call "inverted commas" or something (quotation marks to us).

April--tee hee, you're turning this into a potty forum. :-) And Hugh Grant sort of does a lot of things I wouldn't do, now that I think of it!

Hah hah, Chosha, we got to you! (rubs hands together evilly). And Word on the eye roll. Some people's children . . .

Limon said... [reply]

The high councilor's wife spoke in sacrament meeting about how she hated the words "crap" and "suck." Unfortunately, she used the words so many times throughout her talk that we were all desensitized by the time it was over. That is when we decided to create the ultimate, slightly offensive, not-quite-a-curse word: "suckcrap." Also less frequently used is its close relative, the verb: "crapsuck." Just make sure to cite me when you use it.

April said... [reply]

*blush* Oops... Sorry to turn your forum into suckcrap*.
Okay, so Chosha, you live in England, but studied in Japan? No freaking fair!! I'd love to visit both countries. One of my college roommates was from Himiji City, Japan.

*Limon, 2005

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