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Thursday, January 20, 2011

That word you keep using? I do not think it means what you think it means.

For some reason today, I got an urge to make a list of words that I have heard or overheard being misused or abused at my school over the years. Without any further ado, I present:

1) Assimilation -- We received a note today asking for a seating chart for next week's "TAKS Assimilation." Um, I think you mean SIMULATION. Someone texted me and asked if The Borg was going to be giving the test. I said I wanted my room monitor to be Locucious. We enjoyed a shared asthmatic geeky laugh.

2) Segue -- My old principal used to mispronounce this word on a near daily basis. It should be pronounced SEG-WAY, but she would always say SEG-YOO. In staff meetings, we loved to hear when it was time to segyoo into the next topic.

3) Halcyon -- Another Michael Scott mispronuncification by our old principal. She made reference to the school's "hally-con" days, when kids got to have recess, and teachers could make their own copies.

4) On -- This tiny preposition should NOT preface times and dates, yet it does. We had a meeting ON yesterday. We can wear jeans ON tomorrow. ON tonight, I will be going to bed early.

5) Flexible -- This word is not mispronounced, it's just mutilated, folded, and spindled. It's become a catch-all word for anything and everything that is asked of us. Please fill out this data-intensive form by 9am today -- and thank you for being flexible. Please come to this meeting during your planning period -- and thank you for being flexible. Please continue to teach in this gas-filled classroom -- and thank you for being flexible. I am often tempted to write a note that says, "I will be leaving at 2 today, so please find something for the kids to do while I'm gone -- and thank you for being flexible.

Anybody got anything to add?


TeacherFromTN said...

Incentives--what goes home in report cards for good grades, citizenship, etc. Our former principal called them incen-i-tives.

Thesaurus pronounced the-saur-sus.

Our overused phrases that make me want to stab myself in the neck during faculty meetings:

"Best Practice"


"MARZANO" (Perhaps our principal's most favorite word in the English language--this year.)

"It's not about our convenience, it's for the children...."

It's not that I hate any of these in theory, it's just not necessary to say them every time you open your mouth! In fact, Mrs. Principal, you would actually sound much more intelligent if you changed it up a bit....

Mr. Halpern said...

Ok, this made me smile as I was forced to sit through a painful staff meeting this week and listen to many of these words SHOT at me, almost like gunfire. Another fun one is "Backwards Planning" which of course, administrators don't do... what do they plan for? Also, "Learnin'" with the G mysteriously left off... really?

Anonymous said...

"That word you keep using? I do not think it means what you think it means."

Is this a querstian?

Katie said...

We have the "on tomorrow" problem as well.
Also, it is good to know that our campus is "exemp-ler-rary"
In staff meetings, I keep a running tally of every time our principal says "be about the business of"
(If it were a drinking game, I'd be dead of alcohol poisoning.)
Not long ago, in a meeting, one of the high school English teachers misused three words within five minutes. Unfortunately, as is often the case, I didn't have a pen with me, so I have now forgotten them, in all their egregiousness.

IMC Guy said...

On a daily basis, I hear kids talk about the liberry. Ya know, like the strawberry, blueberry, and rasberry.

They love coming to the liberry to check out books.

I think you need to tryout your note idea about leaving early. Let us know how that plays out.

Mister Teacher said...

I think these are quite possibly the best comments I've ever read on my blog. :)
Katie, it's funny, because I always used to propose a drinking game for whenever my principal would say SEG-YOO, except for the fact that we would die of alcohol poisoning. :)
I was talking with a buddy today, and we recalled how several teachers at our school, around mid-February, have something called "Valentimes." Good times, bad times, Valentimes.

Julie said...

Love the flexible one - when someone basically tells you to come to a meeting a certain time without a choice - are you really being flexible?

Another one is "so to speak" this gets tossed around in various ways that sometimes make me cringe, so to speak.