Have a good one

Ever since I’ve been in the US everybody seems to say, “Have a good one.”

Is this a Boston thing? Or something that creeped into the general language over the last few years?

I’m sure it was not an almost universal way of saying goodbye when I was last here. Everybody seems to use it – store clerks, receptionists, nurses, people in the elevator … Almost everybody.

It sounds a bit … off to me. A bit too casual or something. And of course you can’t help but think, “A good what?”

Forgot an English word… should I worry?

Ever have one of those times when you know a foreign language word for a common thing, you can see the thing, you know what the thing is, but for the life of you you can’t remember the English word?

In the supermarket today I saw a fruit and knew it was あんず (anzu). I knew what it was. I knew what it was called in Japanese. I knew it was a common fruit. I’ve eaten them before in the U.S. and in Japan. I know I knew the English word. It was not an unusual word. But I just could not recall it all day.

I thought if I didn’t try hard to remember it would eventually come to me. Finally it was bothering me and I looked it up in Google Translate – apricot. Of course.

But how could I forget the English word and remember just the Japanese word? It feels really … weird.

Is something happening to my brain?

Objects and Things

I was having difficulty explaining to a Japanese person the difference between a “thing” and an “object.”

Native speakers will tend to naturally use one or the other, depending on the situation. For example:

An unidentified flying object. We wouldn’t say,  “an unidentified flying thing.”

I need to pick up some things at the store. We normally wouldn’t say, “I need to pick up some objects at the store.”

An object of art. We generally would not say, “A thing of art.”

Get your things and lets go. We wouldn’t say, “Get your objects and lets go.”

How would you explain it?

As an aside, for people not familiar with Japanese, while in English we have one word for both material things (e.g. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”) and abstract things (e.g. “Love is a many splendored thing”), in Japanese there are two separate words – “mono” for a material thing and “koto” for an abstract thing.


What accent do you have?

An interesting quiz:


For me the result was “Northeast.” I guess you can take the boy out of New York but you can’t take New York out of the boy.

It said: “Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.”