Stay cool

Yesterday topped 38 degrees Celsius/100 degrees Fahrenheit and today was forecast to be similar.* As I left this morning, I said to my wife ‘Stay cool’ (in the temperature sense). She said ‘What does that mean?”. I said ‘It means – stay – cool. Don’t get too hot.’

I don’t know about anyone else, but I would never tell anyone to stay cold. Correspondingly, in winter, we would tell people to stay warm, not stay hot.

*And it was. As I type this mid-evening, a cool change has blown in, but my house is still very hot. I’ve opened all the doors and windows, but it hasn’t had much effect yet.

(For more discussion about cold, cool, warm and hot.)


get divorsed

Last week I posted about the segment in the textbook on collocations with get. On Friday, there was a section of the weekly test devoted to it. There were eight sentences with a gap in each, and 11 collocations with get in a box at the top. (Very often, textbook activities and tests have exactly the same number of choices as there are questions. I think providing extra choices is a very good idea, because speakers of a language (even second language learners) always have more choices than they need. Providing the exact number of choices often means that students can guess the last one or two.) Several students got all of the questions right, so the section was possible. However, several other students made choices ranging from plausible to unlikely to plain wrong. Some choices were made by more than one student.

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Butterflies in my body part

This week’s lesson in the textbook included discussion about showing emotions by facial expressions and body language. There was a section about idioms related to emotions, with the body part missing. One sentence was ‘I have a test on Friday. I’ve got butterflies in my _’. One student suggested ‘head’, which makes sense: test > studying > not remembering because my thoughts are flitting round like butterflies. Another student suggested ‘heart’. I like the idea of ‘I get butterflies in my heart whenever I see you’.

After class I searched the internet. Other people have already used those phrases, though they are far from being common – Google Ngrams doesn’t record either. There are images for both phrases.

There is a song called ‘Butterflies in my head’ (link, reasonable), and another called ‘Butterfly’ (link, don’t bother) which uses that phrase, and some people have blogs titled that.

People use the phrase ‘butterflies in my heart’ in two ways – either about love or friendship, or about possible cardiac problems. Speaking of which …

Another sentence in the activity was ‘When (I forget the name) left David, she broke his _’. One student suggested ‘foot’.

It’s all there in black and white, and white and black, and yellow and red, and orange and yellow, and red and white, and purple and white, and blue and white, and green and blue, and brown and white

In the textbook this week was a section on what the authors called ‘collocations’ and ‘word pairs’, though I not convinced that those are very good terms for what the section was about. One circle on the page contained the words ‘lemon, butter, knife, backwards, quiet, breakfast, thunder, black’ and another ‘white, fork, peace, forwards, lightning, bread, ice, bed’, and the first task was to make eight three-word phrases with ‘and’ in the middle of each. There are many and various reasons why one word is habitually placed first and the other second. Following on from ‘black and white’, I decided to test them on different colours. I can’t remember all of the pairs they suggested, but there’s definitely cultural associations. When I said ‘green and _’ a Pakistani student said ‘white’ (which he explained as ‘the colours of the Pakistani flag’) and a Taiwanese woman who’s been living in Australia for four years said ‘yellow’ (‘the Australian sporting colours’).

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