Sometimes I REALLY wish I could say what I’m thinking Richard Armitage!

But I can’t…at least not out loud.  I’m in this position a lot as I carefully navigate my way as an intermediary between faculty and administration in budget infested waters…discretion is the better part of not being pushed out of the boat.  This week though, a stunningly funny example came up in the discussion forum of an online section of my ROME movie class.Students were instructed to comment on the charcterizations of the various female personalities of ROME..what roles did they play in public and in private?  How does the series characterization differ from what historical sources tell us?  Pretty standard fare…pretty predictable range of responses until I got to this one:

“In the series it seems that the main women characters talk with a British accent. The accent isn’t historically accurate and misrepresents where the women are located.”

Say what now?!

Say what now?!

I read it a few more times to make sure it said what I thought it said and then I laughed as I copied it, name redacted for protection of the foolish, to some of my colleagues as a small dose of humor.  As I sat and tried to decide how to respond, my first inclination was to be snippily literal and reply:

Verum est , quod Romani non Britannum loquantur . Effectrix cogito , in societate BBC HBO, iudicavi mittere in Latin Edition quia pauci sic miserabiliter amplius loqui Latine . Datum est conflatio molem in Britannia Britannorum consilium ut Latine loqui *non* poposcit . In locis serie litterarum quoque notandum est, quod Graece * non * et forsitan loquitur Scotica Britannum accentus quoque!

Subtitle: It is true in that the Romans did not speak English. I’m thinking that the producers, the BBC in partnership with HBO, made the decision to shoot the series in English since so lamentably few people speak Latin anymore. Given that the bulk of the cast is British the decision was made to *not* speak Latin with British accents. At points during the series, we should note that the characters are also *not* speaking Greek and probably Gaelic with British accents too!

I know…it IS snarky in the extreme, but some days, the level of dumbassery thrown at me is overwhelming and I crack.  This wasn’t one of those days though…I thought about it and decided that the inevitable fallout wasn’t worth the momentary satisfaction.  It was too good not to share though.

The whole thing made me think how tedious it is to have to censor myself all the time.  Don’t get me wrong.  I  have no inclination to run around trying to be extra offensive to everyone I meet, but from time to time, it would be refreshing to just say, “WTF are you talking about?!”in response to some fresh weirdness.

Oops!  Did I say that out loud?! Source

Oops! Did I say that out loud?!

Spinning it out, I wondered how challenging it might be to monitor myself if more than a few people at a time were actually paying attention.  No doubt one of the tricks of the celebrity trade…I have to admit though, I’m do love it when his filter slips from time to time 🙂

22 comments on “Sometimes I REALLY wish I could say what I’m thinking Richard Armitage!

  1. jholland says:

    Oh, wow. Yes, you were admirably restrained. The mind boggles. Perhaps this person believes HBO Latino is for the Latin productions. =)

    • obscura says:

      I showed it to my boss who crafted a much more scathing reply…good to know someone’s got my back 😉 What really surprised me was that not a single other student in that forum commented on it…they must have at least read my netiquette instruction in the novella that I call a syllabus!

  2. Wow! I think most of us restrain ourselves at least some of the time. You seem to be in a uniquely situated position to have to do so frequently. At least it can be worth a laugh now and then 😉

    • obscura says:

      Yeah…it’s a mark of maturity to a certain extent I think. I would never advocate the complete suspension of filters – I spend enough time with children and the very elderly to know where that road leads – but sometimes I wish I was more like Atia….”Consequences? A fig for the consequences!” 😄

  3. Perry says:

    Ah, students following instructions. I once told a class to put their name on the upper right corner of their papers. ( you know – the old “heading?” Grading, I saw one paper that had, on the right corner, “Your name.” I wish it were a joke, but I fear it wasn’t.

    • obscura says:

      It’s a standby…what made it funnier (or worse) in this case was that this is a non traditional adult student…a working adult. Seriously? Another day, another gaffe….pay sucks but the “perks” aren’t bad 😄

  4. Servetus says:

    yeah, rule #1 is try to avoid doing anything that will shame a student. Although it can be SOOOO tempting.

  5. Giggles! Loved that RA interview! And I filter myself all the time. I also work at a university–which is a breeding ground for many humorous moments. And sometimes, it’s fun just to think our response to something–like a secret you don’t share. It adds to our mystery. Ha!

  6. Guylty says:

    Yeah, that’s what we have internal monologue for *ggg*. Seriously though – did the student *really* mean that in earnest? I can’t believe that. Particularly sarcastic man? Please say it is so, otherwise my trust in mankind will be seriously shaken!!!
    As for filters. Yeah, good for use in professional environment. Great fun if *not* employed in private conversations. You never know where the unfiltered speech will take you. (Have had some very interesting experiences in that regard…)

    • obscura says:

      I am sorry to say that there was no indication – no well placed emoji or “LOL” to indicate it was joke material :(. That’s one thing I really dislike about online instruction…it’s almost impossible to “hear” tone. No visual or verbal clues to go on, so without any of the text based indicators we’ve all come to know, I have to assume sincerity. (On the plus side, I used to have to wait until end of term writing came in to find the really great gaffes…now they come week to week! ;). )

      Up until recently, one of the freedoms of being my professional life was an ability to speak plainly a lot of the time…people often expect me to say provocative things, ask probing questions – and I don’t like to disappoint :). These days though, with a foot in administration and faculty fearful, it’s like the whole campus is on “mute”. Keeping more of that internal monologue “locked up” is creating a serious noise issue in my head! 😀

  7. linnetmoss says:

    I am curious about what the student thought would have been a preferable accent. It reminds me of students I’ve had who believe that Jesus spoke the King’s English.

    • obscura says:

      I suppose American accented English? Honestly.

      Jesus of Nazareth…in first century Judea didn’t speak English? How can that be? He speaks English on TV. (Reminds me of a question…did Jesus speak to Pilate in Aramaic or Greek…I wouldn’t think he spoke Latin…Pilate would certainly have spoken Greek, but I can’t see that he’d bother to learn Aramaic for the duration of a typical Roman governorship. Maybe I should toss that question out and watch their heads explode for a change! ;). )

      • Servetus says:

        I’m guessing Aramaic. We used to go round and round this issue when I had to teach the Reformation commentaries on John 6 and at some point I’d say, “there is no present tense form of verb to be in Aramaic so when your Bible has Jesus saying ‘I am the bread of life’ what do you think he actually said?” You could see the notional carnage of exploding brains all over the auditorium.

        • obscura says:

          Through an interpreter do you think? I cannot imagine a Roman aristocrat bothering to learn Aramaic for a two year stint in Judea.

          • Servetus says:

            probably, no? it’s kind of hard for me to see Jesus as highly Hellenized (although you would know better than I would). I suppose the argument that Jesus spoke Greek lies in the fact that his major philosophical arguments were conducted with people (Jewish establishment) who were probably Greek speakers even though they did their intellectual work in Aramaic. ??

          • obscura says:

            I had honestly never thought about it much…I suppose theorhetically he would have been able to converse in any tongue (miracle worker thing), but in practice, I’d doubt that a person of his upbringing would have more than minimal Greek. Men of commerce, intellectuals, elites, sure…carpenter’s apprentice?

          • Servetus says:

            I guess it depends on how much of what’s in the Gospels one believes to be true. The kind of argument Jesus seems to be having with the Jewish elite suggests that he had a fair amount of rabbinic education, although the Gospels want to portray him as an outsider who breaks all the rules.

          • obscura says:

            Right back to questions of source 🙂 Makes for lively on going debate yes?

      • linnetmoss says:

        Yes, I have thought about that too and concluded that the alleged interview with Pilate never took place. I doubt that Jesus spoke more than a smattering of Greek, and it would be unheard of if Pilate spoke Aramaic!

  8. Servetus says:

    It’s a great question for the classroom because there is no answer. My favorite kind of question.

  9. Hariclea says:

    LOl,hilarious that one 🙂 And yes it is tough to hold it in sometimes isn’t it? Apparently i am more outspoken then i thought because a manager thought it hilarious to say in front of others that i tend to say outrageous things.. ehem… i’d say i tend to speak what i think more often than many at work as i find clean air beneficial to resolving conflicts or finding common solutions. And there are ways to saying things as they are without offending. Not a big fan of environments polluted by too much politics.. but i find in media and academia that often is the case.

    On a more funny note i remember assisting my professor for a good few years in oral exams.. erm.. verbal ones, if you know what i mean 😉 The problem for me always was keeping a straight and neutral face when hearing the biggest bombs and inventions… especially when the professor played along and asked them to expand on their statements… it was incredibly hard not to laugh at how creative and far from any logic or reason some answers were 😉 I’ve bitten my lips or inner cheek bloody more than once 😉 It is not that i would laugh at anyone, the story itself was hilarious, but then again i’m known to not be able to get up from the pavement once i’ve fallen because i’m in a fit of laughter 🙂
    But yes much preferred reading/grading written papers where i could smile to myself and compose myself to write a serious,considerate response 🙂

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