Naturally, I cannot claim to be a fluent English speaker because it was never my native tongue. So there are many instances that I ‘murder’ the correct pronunciation especially when I am nervous. More so, if I am in a conversation with a foreigner.
I remember one funny moment during one of my sister’s visits in the country. She vacationed with her boyfriend, a Swedish who is more at ease speaking English than I. We were eating together inside my bahay kubo (a small hut made of indigenous materials) when I uttered my famous line. 🙂
I tried to communicate with him using my rusty Swedish but to no avail. I could not get my message across clearly and precisely. So at first, I stammered, owing to the lack of practice. (We don’t encounter foreigners here a lot.)
Then, in an instant of lack of lucidity, my comment nearly ‘knocked out’ my sister’s boyfriend from where he sat.
“How ‘toothless’ of me?” I said excitedly, after I failed to uncover the lid of the casserole where the boiled shrimps ‘swam’ (I overdid the dish with more colorless soup than usual). Of course, I grinned generously, similar to what a game show hostess’ face like while presenting prizes to contestants.
He looked at me, or more precisely stared at my mouth. He was probably confused why I said the words or perhaps I was mistaken. He looked baffled.
Thankfully, my sister came to the rescue and clarified the misunderstanding with a polite laugh.
“Thoughtless, kuya (brother)!”
Yeah, I stood (literally) corrected!
How thoughtless of me not to say it correctly. (sighs)