Demonstrative Demonstrations


Every once in a while – amid my weekly passion plays for the students’ attention – a teensy bit of English gets taught. Just a bit. A very little bit. Today was my last day teaching my Thursday maniacs and in the last minutes of that last class, I witnessed the best use of demonstrative determiners ever.

The demonstrative determiner in question was “this,” and it was used to describe Shunsuke’s middle finger as he thrust it repeatedly at Kouki. He could have shouted any of the Japanese equivalents to our healthy English four-letter words but, no. He chose English. And he chose a demonstrative determiner.

“This! This!” he cried, shoving it in Kouki’s face. It was almost as if the lad was trying to warm my heart with a smidgen of self-gratification.

Sometimes, they do listen.

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