Tuesday, 17 April 2012

By All Means

A friend in Cambridge has been conducting IELTS oral tests. One candidate said he was studying 'penis' at university. How exactly this was to be understood remains unclear. Maybe he really is studying penis. If so, I'd be interested to know if there's a practical component and how this is assessed. I might then put myself forward as a moderator. If you have any suggestions as to what he might have meant, please leave a comment.

An utterance from another candidate served to remind us once again that the right vocabulary with the right connotations is so often much more important than the right grammar. He entered the room breathlessly and said 'I'm hot, hot, hot! Can I take my clothes off?'


11 comments:

Cerdo said...

Maybe when typing the words "oral" and "examination" into Google with the Safe Search set to "Smut" something other than testing linguistic ability came up? Or maybe a different sort of linguistic talent?

Vilges Suola said...

Could be... Meanwhile I've been repeating the word 'penis' in as many foreign accents as I can do (a lot) to see if I can work out what he meant.

Cerdo said...

"Happiness" ?
Though quite how that can be studied is another matter.

Vilges Suola said...

Ah, that well-known misplaced stress! 'I 'ope you will 'ave aPEEness all your life!' God forbid it should be otherwise.

Dunno how it can be studied. Maybe he's doing research on Maslow, or Tibetan Buddhism, like Matthieu Ricard???

Sarah said...

Hmm, I know a few people who were studying penis at university, though as far as memory serves, it wasn't officially on the curriculum.

Otherwise... Pains? Pennies? Peons?

Vilges Suola said...

I didn't do as much field work as I'd have liked while at university - it had to wait until I left. Even then I'd have liked a bit more.

Yes, pans, pants, pence... I can't work it out.

Candy said...

Pianist? But quite how one would study a pianist, I do not know. It is a conundrum and a mystery, wrapped in a foreskin.....

Vilges Suola said...

Pianist - now there's a likely candidate; 'I'm study [for be] peenis'. He might be having bother with his consonant clusters.

Candy said...

Could be could be could be.I was once thanked for my passion. I was, of course, deeply flattered that my passion had in fact even been noticed. Then it dawned on me that the chap meant "patience"....

Nik_TheGreek said...

My first thought was 'pennies'. The pianist theory does make more sense though.

Vilges Suola said...

Ναι, πρέπει να'ναι pianist. Χρόνια πολλά!

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