Here, I’ll lay some truth on you.
Truth is, I had to stop and think: ‘is it blunt forced truth, or blunt force truth?’ I settled on the latter using my own sound cognitive skills. Everybody has blind spots.
Like, when I was young I thought it was ‘next jear’ not ‘next year’ (despite the fact I was familiar with the word ‘year’), this was undoubtedly due to being brought up around people who chewed rather than spoke the English language. And if that wasn’t enough, my first ever school teacher had a raging lisp. Well I didn’t know this at the time; I was informed of it after I had too developed a lisp. Well, that’s what happens when the only adult conversation a 5 year old gets is from an ancient with a lisp. A similar thing happened about 3 years later when I had a teacher with a very heavy accent (I have no idea where he was from, Poland perhaps, judging by his surname). We were doing some science experiment that called for various chemicals, one of which was methylated spirits. However when he ran his tongue over the word it came out as ‘mettalated spirits’. So that was how I pronounced it as well. Seemed reasonable enough, I’d never heard the word before, so, monkey see, monkey do. At the days end I was describing to my mother what we did that day and by chance I mentioned the ‘mettalated spirits’, oh how she laughed at the stupid little girl who couldn’t pronounce methylated. What raucous fun it must have been.
I tell you it’s any wonder I speak at all. Not a year after the ‘methylated’ incident we come to yet another language impasse. My family was holidaying; I pointed to some very large rocks and said something to the effect of ‘look mum, boulders’. I think it’s rather evident that I was neither a smart nor an interesting child. I digress; instead of fobbing me off with some noncommittal ‘whatever, that’s nice’ that had become de riguer in my growing up, my mother instead tried to engage: ‘Oh, they’re not boulders, they’re called bowlers’. My dad sniggered. He always was sniggering; in fact, I can say without a doubt I only have 3 memories of my day growing up: him working, him sniggering, and him taking me to a roller rink (while possibly sniggering). “No they aren’t… I’m pretty sure they’re called boulders”, I said, slightly wavering in my conviction; after all I was but an empty headed child, full evil deeds and ignorance in equal parts. I was wrong before and I would be wrong again was my childhood motto (didn’t actually have my motto spelled out in so many words of course). Luckily a bottle of wine had drawn their attention away from the misinformation hour, and being the slow child I was I failed to internalize the lesson. Of course I didn’t fail to internalize the event or its meaning. I knew – still know, in fact – where I stood.
The difference to being laughed at and laughed with is learnt young.