Friday, September 3, 2010

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

I have played backgammon with a lot of men. No, that is not a euphemism. I love backgammon. And I love men. You’d think it would be as satisfying a combo as port and chocolate. The problem is that most men (in my experience) seem to be uncomfortable when they are beat by a girl. Therefore, when I am doing well, I encounter a lot of “Damn, you are so lucky. Doubles again! You are seriously the luckiest person I’ve ever played with!”

Of course, there is an element of luck, but come on, man. If I am repeatedly kicking your ass, then maybe give me a little credit. My husband is no different. When he said I was lucky one time too many times, I got so pissed off I slept on the couch.

It's the only time either one of us has slept on the couch (unless it was due to falling asleep watching Seinfeld reruns). We have a relatively harmonious relationship. Besides backgammon, the only other recurring source of contention between us is the English language.

He is Australian and, therefore, takes pride that his English is more closely related to the Queen’s English. I am an English teacher and take pride in the fact that I know when something is a matter of you say tomaito/I say tomahto and when it's an error. Therefore, we both always think we are right. (But I usually am.)

The other day, I was peeking over his shoulder while he was writing a work email. I saw that he had written that he wanted to inquire about something. “Honey, I think that’s supposed to be enquire,” I said. He disagreed, so I went straight to Google to prove him wrong.

What I found was very unsatisfying: we were both right. The British and Aussies tend to use inquire, while Americans tend to use enquire.

Okay, so he got lucky with that one.


keppi baranick said...

And he also got lucky with you.

Janet Johnson said...

See, I would have gone with you. I learned something. But British/Australian English always throws me off.

Amanda Sablan said...

Of course you kicked his ass, you're a woman. One day it'll be US who always feel embarrassed when we lose to a man, if we don't already. But we'll have that reputation. ;]

I actually did not know about in/enquire. I've always used "inquire" thinking it was the only spelling. But for it to be how the the British and Aussies do it???

Mary Aalgaard said...

Excellent, mate! I like Backgammon, too. Now, to find a man willing to play...and possibly get his ass kicked.

DEZMOND said...

yes, you just do not beat men in their games and sports, just like men must not beat you in dressing better than you or cooking better than you :) It's just nature, nothing too complicated to grasp :)

j.m. neeb said...

Huh. I'm not British or Australian, but I've always thought it to be "inquire." ("Enquire" doesn't even look right to me.) Although, maybe I've only read the word in works from British authors?

(Admittedly, I don't know if I've ever read anything from an Aussie. Perhaps I need to rectify that...)

Wow. I feel like a dumbass.

James Garcia Jr said...

You killed me with that last sentence! You never cease to amaze.
My issue with my wife has nothing to do with whether she might be better than I in something, but in the fact that I so rarely get to spend any competitive juices, that I treat everything like it's a pressure putt to win a golf tournament or somthing. I have to try and remember to let up a bit with her and simply keep it fun, no matter who wins.
Everyone else gets my game-face! Lol!
Have a great weekend.

Meg O. said...

Men are such sore losers! At least you were right with enquire.... well, we are in America, after all, right??? ;)

Boonie S said...

I never object to being beaten by a woman, although of course it does rather depend on where she beats me. If she wants to kick my ass I always insist that she removes her thigh length PVC boots first.

I wish you a fiendishly sadistic day.
All the best, Boonie

Georgina Dollface said...

Well, thanks for that. Being married to a Brit who isn't afraid to admit he is a bad speller, you probably just saved us a row. The funny thing about him is that he is the fastest crossworder I know and he devours 2-3 novels a week, yet he's (by his own admission) bad with grammar and spelling. - G

Guinevere said...

I'm American, and I would have written "inquire", so I'm going to pretend I prefer the British version and am not just a grammar accident waiting to happen...

I saw your blog title and had to follow - such a clever and fun title! Maybe I'll learn something about grammar from reading here. I think I write decently, but not perfectly. :)

Culture Served Raw said...

Funny post! Competition spices things up, but sometimes it's good to let the blokes just have one ;)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Lauren Bacall believed that women were superior to men in that they dared to extend themselves, to be more honorable.

In college I was invited to join the local Mensa chapter. The following is not a slam on Mensa as a whole.

But I found the people in the local chapter used vocabulary and grammar as a blunt instrument to pound the "inferior" individuals around them with the truth of how dense they truly were.

I decided then and there to use "Jimmy Stewart" English and "Jimmy Stewart" manners.

I would use no word, no interpersonal exchange that I could not picture Jimmy Stewart using in a Frank Capra movie. (As you might have guessed, I am a classic black-and-white movie fan.)

Sometimes life is just better emotionally for all involved to be kind. Jimmy Stewart in HARVEY said,

"Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" -

she always called me Elwood -

"In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant."

Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

And Elwood, I have.

Have a great new week, Roland

Theresa Milstein said...

He's brave to mess with an English teacher.

I love backgammon too. But I'm not ruthless enough, so I usually lose two out of three games.

Michelle Panik said...

"...when they are beat by a girl."?

Where's the love for the past participle?

Missed Periods said...

@Michelle Panik

Ooops! I will change that right now.

Missed Periods said...

@Michelle Panik

I just double checked with my grammar guru(Diane Hacker),and apparently both 'beat' and 'beaten' are the past participle of 'beat.' I'm going to poke around a little more about this issue.

Hannah Kincade said...

LOL! That's awesome. I love when you're determined to prove someone wrong and discover that you're both right. It's like you each have to forfeit and accept defeat but you sorta won.

Michelle Panik said...

Very cool! I had no idea both were acceptable.