Monday, July 14, 2008

English Trainer Chronicles: Nutshell

The language of IT is English, so it no longer surprises me when my IT students can talk about their jobs pretty well in English. What tickles me--and them, I think--is when they use technical terms to describe not-so-technical things.

We were talking about the expression, "In a nutshell."

Me: So, what does this mean?
Student: I get the meaning. It's like "in short."
Me: Right! But what is a nutshell?
Student: I don't know.
Me: Well, what is a nut?
Student: (Thinks.) Squirrels eat it.
Me: Right, right. And if it's the shell of a nut, what is it then?
Student: (Thinks, then laughs a little.) It's the interface of the nut.


P.S. Another learner told me he watched Hot Fuzz in English. I'd never heard of it before, so I looked it up. Tonight, I saw it was showing on HBO and watched it. Hilarious stuff. :P