Becoming Flabbergasted

It was a Sixth grade that met right after lunch recess. They usually had a lot of energy (what 6th gr class does not?) and were easily engaged, until about the last five minutes of class or so when their batteries started to wane. One young man loved to learn new words, but really had not been pursuing this love long enough to have a truly large vocabulary.

We took a quiz, and the class did not do well, and I stated to them that I was flabbergasted by their poor showing. This simply destroyed the young lexicographer with laughter. After almost three minutes of watching him laugh and giggle and seek to come back under control, I finally ascertained the cause of his merriment. My use of “flabbergasted” translated in his mind too closely with the term, “flatulence” which he had recently come across. So he thought their poor test scores had given the teacher gas. And thus the laughter. And thus my laughter. I’m glad class was almost over anyway.


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