Thursday, March 14, 2013

Touchy Feely

One of my colleagues is a native Russian speaker and has an extraordinary command of the English language, though sometimes he messes up the folksy American sayings he loves to use. It's seldom a big deal. He might say, "You'll live to see another day," when he means "Live to fight another day," or "Like a needle on a haystack" instead of "Like a needle in a haystack." And then other times his translation jumbles lead to confusion, like when he was telling me today that our much older female coworker was being "touchy-feely" with him, when he just meant "touchy" as in "overly sensitive." I explained the difference. He pointed out to me that if someone was "touchy" as I'd explained it, then they are also being "feely" since they're being overly emotive, and I agreed, but then he went on to say that he sometimes confused "feely" and "Philly" and I knew there was nothing more I could do to help him.

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