Thursday, October 9, 2008

Foot - mouth: mouth - foot...

...as Tommy Cooper could've said, but probably didn't.

At the Centre, we have a wide variety of students with an equally wide variety of problems. Some just haven't fared well in mainstream; some have had too many family issues to deal with too young; some have specific learning difficulties; some have mental health problems. Bearing the latter in mind, it was probably unwise of me to murmur "nutter!" affectionately at one young lad -a lad I like a lot - when he said something funny and unexpected.

I realised about half a second too late that he'd been referred that very morning to the local mental health facility, and stuttered a retraction gormlessly while he grinned at me.

Whoops.

5 comments:

Penny said...

Groaning on your behalf here. It's so easily done when it's the last thing you intend! Would try 'makespeak' words... one person I know used 'Silly Billy' [generally fine for all except those called William!]. The twist was that she gave the 'll' the Welsh pronounciation... the resultant spitting gave everyone a laugh...

SpiralSkies said...

Oh, that must have been mortifying! Sounds as if he took it in the right spirit though - sometimes people prefer not to have the whole 'walking on eggshells' thing going on.

I used to have some sort of verbal tourettes whenever I had a conversation with a Christian friend of mine. She was proper Christian, you know? She went off to Uganda in the end to work as a missionary. I always dreaded offending her by blurting "oh, God!'

It would inevitable descend into me burbling, "oh, God! Oh, shit, sorry! Oh, bugger... '

Oh dear.

Honeysuckle said...

Hi Penny - I don't think I can manage the Welsh 'double ll'! - but will think of something equally harmless.

Spiralskies - I do think grown people have a duty not to get offended unless offence is intended, don't you? I read something sensible once written by a famous travel writer - she was so fammous I've completely forgotten her name - anyway, she said that in most cultures, so long as you mean well and you smile at people, they don't mind the odd faux pas. I'm sure it's the same with slips of the tongue. And thank goodness for that.

Casdok said...

Ooops! But glad he grinned!

SpiralSkies said...

"I do think grown people have a duty not to get offended unless offence is intended, don't you?"

That is the most sensible thing I think I've ever heard!