Take a leap!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Today is February 29. Leap Day! I would like to wish an especially happy birthday to all of you who were born on this magical day. For the rest of you, I hope you did something out of the ordinary.

On that note, I have a random anecdote to share:

Despite being born in Canada, my first language was not English. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I didn't really start speaking that language until I was in preschool at age 3. (my linguistic-savvy roommate tells me, however, that learning it at age 3 still qualifies it as a "first language", especially since I speak with a native "Canadian" accent.) I must say, whenever I make stupid mistakes with English grammar or vocabulary, it's really fun to pretend that it's because I learnt English later than most people. That being said, there are a few times where I have genuinely mixed up languages or made mistakes because of my mother tongue... especially when it comes to understanding puns.

Example:

When I was young, I remember seeing these signs in restaurants. (Anyone else remember the days when smoking was allowed in some restaurants?)


I couldn't for the life of me figure out why puffins were being banned specifically from places. Did anyone try to invade Canada with an army of puffins? (Maybe Alaska was feeling lonely) Sadly, I can confirm that it took me at least a decade to realize what the signs were about.