… sometimes, when I’m meandering around the classroom, I will stop and point out to a student that Friday does not begin with a H, or that “cook” is not, in fact, spelled “cock” (“He is a cock”), or that “I am fun” isn’t really a valid way to describe your weekend.
And sometimes, my students will hear my correction and say, “Uso!”
“Uso” (うそ、嘘) literally means, “it’s a lie!” Now, I get that in context what they’re really saying is, “Oh crap, no way!”
This is not an isolated incident. I’ve taught grades 5-9 pretty extensively at a wide range of schools and this has happened at every one, from the most rural to the most cosmopolitan.
I’m probably being a bit of an old fogey. But the idea that my students react to my corrections like that still really, really bugs me. I mean, I’m their teacher. I do actually know what I’m talking about.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that teachers are infallible and that students should never question their teachers. I just think that responding to my corrections with “Lie!” or “Falsehood!” is not the most gracious or well-mannered way to go about it. In fact, I think it’s downright damn rude. I make a point of responding with, “Honto da!”, which means “It’s the truth!”, which always gets nervous giggles.