Language Dilemma

We expect others to understand what we mean when we use common words, but it just isn’t so!  Language can be so complicated.

I recently went into a library and asked where I would find the washroom.  That’s a simple request, is it not?

Well…the librarian looked at me as if I had two heads and neither of them did much thinking.  She then said the library didn’t have a washroom, and in a sympathetic voice one might use on a very small, confused child she added, “Most libraries don’t.”

I must have stood there looking dazed (and thus likely confirming her opinion of my two-headedness emptiness).

I don’t know about you, but every library I’ve been in has at least one washroom! Sometimes they’re locked. And sometimes they’re hidden around a corner, but they are there. Somewhere.

As I stood their thinking (yes, at least one of those heads could muster a thought), another librarian happened by and asked if she could help me.  Boy, could I use some help!  I ventured to ask about a washroom. The first librarian was in ear shot as she directed me to what obviously the library washrooms.  As I left, I overheard, “She’s Canadian.”

Once business was taken care of, I asked the second librarian, “How you know I was a Canadian?”

For starters, she was too, and she had her own story to tell about washrooms.

Early in her move to the States she asked a neighbour to use their washroom.  She said the neighbour was surprised but had her follow as she led the way … to the laundry room.

So, my lesson for the day: Washrooms (in the States) are for washing clothing and Rest Rooms, in which you don’t generally rest, are… well, you know, they’re washrooms.

Maybe we are so delicate minded we refuse to call a spade a spade when it comes to the need to answer nature’s call.  Perhaps we could rename the facilities the “Pee n’ Poop Room”, then everyone would know what we are talking about and the actual use of the room would be certain.  I doubt if the new moniker would fly, but you never know. Language and communication is just soooo complicated.

Nevertheless, with my newfound knowledge in hand, I now know when nature calls while I’m on my travels south of the border, I’ll at least be asking for the right room.

Anyone want a pop?


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