Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Today at work one of the interns came up to ask me a grammar question:

"Mr. Waeg, could you help me? I'm trying to understand the difference between vary in, vary with, and vary among. Could you explain it please?"

My initial reaction was to say no: it was lunch, and I was busy thinking about how to put together the girls' Halloween costumes; after lunch I had a pile of TPS reports to burn through. But I did a stoopid and actually thought about it, only to realize that I had no idea how to explain when to use each.

I mumbled through some half-assed explanation, gave some correct examples, but truly felt stumped, then like crap for being unable to explain it. I used to be an Englishee teacher after all, and due to my holding this job I should be able to explain the technicalities of even the most arcane grammar.

When I got home, I shared the story with June. She simply laughed and said "well, why can't you explain it? You're a waeg who used to be an English teacher, you should know."

I reminded myself of the mental note I made years ago to not talk about work stuff with June, in fact to just generally avoid talking to her about most things at all. Then I talked with the girls more about their Halloween costumes, helped the eldest sort out some of the settings on the electronic keyboard, and opened a bottle of Daepo.

It's almost done.

Time for a second.


Anonymous said...

No truer words could be said about being married to a Korean wife. I also have learned to never talk about anything that happens to me when the wife is not there. Inevitably I have done something wrong, wasted money or embarrassed her in some sort of fashion, usually all 3 are deemed to be done by me every time I leave the house. The joys of Korean matrimony! Great blog, just keep on keeping on F5'er.

Anonymous said...

my Kwife of over 30 years has to instruct me on the proper response to every situation. I think one of the reasons we've been together so long is that she has always worked a different shift than me. I really don't get anything done until after I wave as she's leaving for work.

Professor of Strangeness said...

My theory is that you can't explain it because it doesn't make sense. A lot of English is like that.

As my former Korean teacher used to say "Exception!" -- she would have said it much more often if she was teaching English.

Anonymous said...

this blog hasn't been very productive lately. lame.

Anonymous said...

You should of just said it doesn't really matter, just make it sound natural and you will be ok. The cake is a lie.

Jellie said...

Yet another post of wisdom. Nicely done. Simple yet detailed.

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