Thursday, 12 March 2009

English Note Books

The beginning of the year sees the return of the English note books. These are just normal school note books, but the cover has something that indicates that it is to be used for English. To be fair, most note books in the shops say that. It seems that English one of the few languages where you need to take notes. If you put in a few more minutes of browsing you will also find one or two that seems to be intended for Chinese or Mathematics.

There is a large shop in town that displays, quite literally, stacks of note book. I will sometimes go in when I have nothing better to do and read the cover pages. I also just wait for my students to come to class and then read their covers.

Some of the English is really good, to the point where the students have no idea what it means, because it is essentially a small essay on the cover. Some if it is really bad. Bad how? You know, confusing R for an L and vice versa, capitalization, punctuation, incomprehensibility, the normal things.

Then there are the "English" note books that display pictures of Paris or Rome. What exactly the French, who are not known for their love of the English language, are doing on the cover, not one will know. At least you can make the claim that it has something to do with travelling.

Today I saw the best of them all. The cover had something indicating that it was an English note book, but then half of the cover was filled with Dutch. I read it, I'm Afrikaans remember, and the whole thing describes the colonialization of the world by Europe and at that particular point in the text, how Portugal conquered some or another territory. What that had to do with English no one will know, but there it was.

Over the next week I am sure I will see a few more covers I didn’t notice before, and I can’t wait. It is always nice to have a distraction from the Noise Makers.

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