A couple of years ago, after a long day on my feet teaching, I was sitting at a desk in my last class of the day. The students dribbled in from their previous class - their contact hours are on average nearly twice mine. One young woman looked particularly worn out and, in any excess of empathy, I blurted out "Blimey, you looked shagged", Ooops! Big Red Face: all of my native English speakers will realise that 'shagged' is slang for both "tired" and "bonked". By context and timing [4PM on a workday afternoon] the former meaning is much more likely but people in my profession have to be above suspicion in their
Last Monday [at 4PM! that must be my
And because things always go in threes, I had another literal/slang potential miscommunication recently. I was talking to a couple of students who were havering about whether they would do a final-year research project co-supervised by me and someone in The Oak Park campus of Teagasc on the other side of town. That place is 4.5km away = 9 minutes by car but maybe an hour on foot, so I asked the student if she had a car. Ah don't worry about that I'll take a taxi, it's only €8 within the city limits. I've ceased to be amazed at Generations Y & Z who grew up after the Celtic Tiger and think of money as something to be spent. €8 is about what I earned for my first wage packet for a 40 hour week riddling potatoes. I replied "whatever about taxis, it would be a good idea to have a departmental bike" I was going to finish that sentence ". . . so that people can nip across to the other place for a meeting". But the phrase departmental bike seemed to be causing a mild emotional turmoil on the other side of the table. One interpretation, in a wholly different context, could be departmental bike = the available woman. A bike being something you ride which is yet another synonym for bonking. You can't be too careful, I guess. Then again you can't stop talking altogether.
This looks much worse (why is this old buffer continually making inappropriate remarks to young women) than it might be because it's a condensate from about three years of hundreds of interactions that are not actionable. Then again, I would say that wouldn't I? If I had a therapist, I'd ask her if I had a problem.