Whatís a monkey dish? A fam trip? Looping?
English is a vital and dynamic language. This is reflected in the growth of
its vocabulary over hundreds of years. English speakers of two hundred years
ago would have difficulty in understanding todayís conversations because of
the many new words and uses.
and occupations have developed words and expressions that are
largely known and understood only by people who work in their field. When they
expand their conversations to include outsiders, they are faced with puzzled
looks because the listeners donít understand what they are talking about.
same phenomenon happens within generations. This is fertile ground for
communication between parents and kids at home. Each of these groups knows
vocabulary that is particular to their work, age, or schooling. Having a word
or term show up in vocabulary gives both a teaching and a learning
opportunity. Itís also one of those times that a younger person can
demonstrate expertise or knowledge to an older one, becoming the teacher and
sharing information that the other does not have.
There are many advantages to such interchanges:
The people involved provide greater insight into each otherís worlds.
The recipients of this knowledge have increased understanding of the profession
or industry under discussion.
All involved share a playfulness with the language.
All parties learn to show an interest and willingness to understand each other
through their specialized vocabulary.
understands that other people's experiences are different. Those differences
can be expressed by their varied vocabularies.
that you have made it through to the end of the column, I can explain the
vocabulary in the first sentence:
"monkey dish" is a small bowl used in the restaurant industry for
side dishes. Travel agents take "fam trips" to familiarize
themselves with new locations. "Looping" refers to the process
through which two teachers "loop" between two consecutive grades
during a two-year period. For example, Teacher A teaches second grade while
Teacher B teaches third; the following year, Teacher A retains her class and
takes them to third grade, while Teacher B returns to second grade to begin
with a new class.