Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lost in Translation

I was with a few of my future students this afternoon when a young man rode by on a bicycle and wolf-whistled at me.

"That man is making noises at you," said one of the students.

"I know," I said. "But I don't like to pay attention to silly people."

My choice of words perplexed the students. "What is silly?" they asked.

For a moment I didn't know what to say. I still don't, really. How does one define "silly?"

I ended up telling them that it was the same thing as stupid, which served the purpose but left me feeling a little bit unsatisfied. Ridiculous might have been closer, but still isn't right. Nor is frivolous, which my students probably wouldn't have understood anyway.

So... I propose a game of Balderdash. No cheating. Leave your definitions of silly in the comments. Tomorrow I'll post a few dictionary definitions, and we'll see who was closest!


Ennis said...

Not a defn of silly, but rather what I might have said, which is foolish or crazy (in hindi pagal works well for that behavior) or shameless (besharam).

Daniel said...


humorously inappopriate; goofy; full of whimsy

Ash said...

Silly = not serious?

ctrlalteredmind said...

my girlfriend calls me silly :(