Sunday, April 15, 2012

Against the wall

We did it—we not only survived the semester; we survived the degree! Shortly before midnight last night, Andrew finished the last of his finals, giving us a whole week to play (and, well, work) before he leaves for Ghana. Besides projects, he only had four finals to take this semester. Yesterday he spent over seven hours on his law final and then several hours more on his marketing final. The law final was a little ridiculous—he was "working" on it for over nine hours but since he made (and ate) dinner he decided it was really more like seven hours. Still...that's like a full day of work (almost).

As we were getting in bed he remarked on how brutal the law final was.

"That should be against the wall," I said. And then, "Wow. I don't even know how that happened."

"Did you mean to say 'against the law?'" Andrew giggled (mannishly, of course).

"Yes—I don't really know what happened. Some sort of disconnect between my brain and mouth, I guess. In my defense, /w/ and /l/ are easily confused because they're both...oh, dear...what's the word?"

"Way to go, Linguistics Girl."

"Hey—I'm pregnant. I just said 'against the wall' instead of 'against the law.' I think I'm allowed to forget a term that applies to a mere handful of sounds, too."

"Fricatives?" Andrew offered.

" And not pl..."


"Not plosives."

We finally came up with the word 'liquid,' which Andrew pointed out are not allowed on airplanes. So then we spent the next five minutes trying to speak without using liquids:

"So--y si-, -ou can't b-ing -iq-ids on the p-ane."

But really what we meant was approximants (since /l/ and /r/ are approximants and liquids, while /w/ and /y/ are approximants and glides). I think we deserve a little slack since Andrew had just spent all day doing finals and I had edited his finals (for things like htat and and other things (not ideas or anything like that)) and a chapter of my mom's dissertation. Our brains had clearly hit their limit.

"Sometimes," I said to Andrew, raising my hand six inches above my head, "Our nerdhood reaches about this level."

"And sometimes it's way up here?" he asked, reaching his hand as far as it could go.

I couldn't agree more. We're so nerdy it should be against the wall.


  1. I think you have been living with your kids to long and are starting to sound like them. :) Congratulations to Andrew.

  2. I love how as a linguistics person you are not allowed to forget words or say phrases wrong. I get that too. No arithmetic errors forgiven for me without being reminded what my major was.

    I hope you guys have a super fun week playing. My, you deserve.