The Nuances of Japanese

The Japanese language is one that is sometimes notoriously vague. Sometimes the context of a conversation or text helps to pull away the veil, but then….

Last Friday, being Friday, decided to go causal and wore a long-sleeved Tee I bought for son unit way back in the day, during a day trip to West Point, the U.S. military academy. The shirt has emblazoned upon it, a message about the West Point’s lacrosse program. Bought it for son unit as he was still interested in the sport at the time.

Son unit has moved on and the Tee is will wearable so, I wore it and t prompted this conversation between myself and one of the Japanese reviewers.

We met in one of the corridors, she sees my Tee and exclaims

“えぇ、いったの?”

(Did you go there?!)

“うん行ったよ。”

(Yeah, I went)

After 2 seconds or so, the light bulb comes on, I realize her question was not the casual had I gone there, but had I actually attended West Point, which I haven’t and never dreamed of attending.

Realizing with the gossip that goes on at the worksite, how quickly this could mushroom into a large misunderstanding, I quickly added I had traveled there as a tourist, and had never attended West Point as a student.

The Tee also leads to questions why people buy and wear clothing that has not real connection to their own lives, like the scattering of those wearing Harvard clothing , who may have never set foot in the place, save as a tourist.

PS: Recounted this story to wife unit, who opined that the woman knew very well I had not attended West Point, but asked the question out some need to confirm the security of her understanding of me.

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