Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's All Good

When I would visit my grandparents as a young girl, my grandmother would offer treat after treat for our enjoyment. Most often, I'd be full as a tick and couldn't possibly eat another bite. At this point, when Grandma offered yet another slice of home made key lime pie, I'd wave her off with the phrase every kid in my generation clearly understood; "That's OK."

Grandma was always gently instructing me in the ways of a politer society. One day she finally asked, "What do you mean by that, J? It's OK and you want some more or it's OK and you don't want any? Have you thought about just saying 'Yes, please' or 'No, thank you' so you would be more clear?"

While I didn't agree with Grandma on all of her instructions (like the thought at the time that I should be reading more of the newspaper than simply the comics), this made good sense.

With my own children, I have taught them to say "No thank you" or "Yes, please." It makes it even more amusing, therefore, when our student from China uses a particular American slang and seems so proud when he does.

Junting, would you like some more potatoes?

Oh . . . I'm good.

Kelly hides her smile.

We wonder who taught him this? Dude, if someone offers you something and you don't want it, just say I'm good. That's how they do it here.

He speaks English so well and understands us so clearly, so it took me by surprise the first time I heard him say it. He's here studying for his Ph.d in Chemistry, uses articulate speech, and then he comes out with I'm good.

Should we tell him? =)


Jessica Leigh said...

What about, "I'm fine, thank you" as a response?

Mrs said...

They're not asking how you fare, they're asking whether you want something or not. If someone were to offer you a piece of cake, would you respond with, "I had a cold last week, but I'm better now!"? Doesn't a "No, thank you. I couldn't eat another bite," make more sense?


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