One of my favorite bearded, tattooed Swedes has resided in the United States since 2000. Last Saturday night, he leaned on the pool table, chalked up his cue and said conversationally, "You know what I learned this week? The word 'sweatpants.' For fifteen years I've been calling them 'soft pants.'
"Oh," I replied and jammed a cocktail napkin up my nose because I was laughing so hard it had started to run.
The Swede grumbled that no one, fifteen years worth of no ones, had bothered to correct him when he announced, "I'm off to the gym in my soft pants." Or, "I wish I had a hoodie to match these bitchin' soft pants."
|Kort ≠ Kåt|
It is no secret that I don't exactly have the high ground on foreign language vocabulary. In Swedish, I can turn a phrase that makes the back of your knees sweat. Luckily, I tend to get fast feedback. I know it is quite likely I've erred when a friend begins shrieking that I did not mean whatever I just told everybody.
Like the time I was standing in a bar amidst a bunch of tall Swedish dudes and casually noted, "I am very short." Except I didn't say I was very short. I mixed up a vowel and informed them all I was very horny. My popularity skyrocketed for the three seconds it took Camilla to clamp her hands around my neck and drag me into the ladies room.
I've also made memorable proclamations mostly involving deviant sexual behavior, body parts, punching random objects and cherries with strange genitalia.