We Do It All For You

Posted on November 15, 2014 under Storytelling with no comments yet



“We ” like to go to the Candy kitchen



“It’s only words, and words are all I have…”

Words – The Bee Gees

Most of the words we use in our lifetime are learned at a very early age.  By the time a child reaches the age of two, he or she understands 200 words.  And then it jumps by leaps and bounds to 1000 words at age three and an astonishing 50,000 words by the age of 12.  The English language, although not as complicated as learning Mandarin, confuses foreigners, with multiple definitions and multiple spellings for the same word.  Here, hear!

Teenagers go through a regressive stage and most conversations are reduced to mono syllabic grunts.  “Where are you going?”  “Out.”  “Who are you going with?”  “Nobody.”   “When will you be home?” “Later.” And of course, everything that comes out of their mouths is prefaced by “like”.

We waltz through life, rarely thinking about vocabulary and its usage.  We take it for granted.  That is, until we enter into a serious relationship and settle down.  Never is the use of language or words more complicated or misunderstood than after becoming a couple.

Take the word “we”.

I took grammar throughout my own schooling and got an extra big dose when I ended up teaching English to several classes of enraptured grades 7 and 8 students.

I dusted off an old grammar book that was given to me by Alice Chelick, a former teaching colleague in Fairview, Alberta.  Just for fun, I looked up the word “we”.

“Pronoun.  1. Used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself and one or more other people considered together.  2. Used in formal contexts for and by a royal person, or by a writer or editor to refer to himself or herself. “

So, what are we, to make of “we?”

It depends who’s talking.

When a woman says to her partner, “We’re going to rake the leaves”, that means that she wants him to do it.  When she says “We’re going to paint the living room”, this means that she will pick out the paint and hire the painter.  She doesn’t trust her spouse to do the job properly.  Why pay twice for the paint when a professional will get it right the first time?

When a man says to his partner, “We should go and visit your mother”, what he really means is that there’s an excellent double header football game later that day that he wants to watch it … uninterrupted.

After being reminded that an appearance at Sunday service once in a while would be appreciated, a man may agree, “Yes, we should probably start going to church more often”.  This means that he desperately wants to go on a golf trip to Myrtle Beach with the boys and will resort to exhortations and even prayer to get there.  And brownie points.

And ladies, be very wary if a man ever utters these words:  “Honey, why don’t we go and do a little shopping.”  You know damn well that he is obviously begging for sexual favors.

When a man says, “What shall we have for dinner tonight?” it means that he is hoping that his partner has already planned, purchased and begun to prepare the meal.  When she comes back with “We could try that new tofu stir fry recipe” it means that they will be dining out.

Of course, Christmas has some special usages for “we”.   When a man says “We went Christmas shopping,” what it really means is that he read the Globe and Mail on a bench outside of The Bay.  Or that his significant other has picked something out for herself and had it gift wrapped.   The man picks it up from the store and nobody is more surprised on Christmas morning when he finally finds out what he has given her.

A couple we know from Ontario was in a restaurant recently.  He called the waiter over and said “We have a situation here.”   His wife had been talking expressively using her hands for effect.   She had knocked over the shot of flaming Sambuca and the table was on fire.

Houston, we have a problem.

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.