Disoriented- or shall I say, disorientated?

On one of my first days of class, my seminar had just come to a close when the advisor commented on the lack of questions. He said he was surprised at the lack of questions, but then again, we were all probably very disorientated. At that point, my West Coast self did in fact have a question to ask.

What the hell is disorientated? Honestly, I must have heard it used about fifty times in my welcome lectures. Disorientated this, disorientated that. Is that a word that we just don’t use in America? So I asked. There were about twenty of us in the room, all seated in such a fashion that we could all see each other, and after this “disorientated” question, I said, “Well, actually, I have a question.”

Cue all eyes on Kathy. “So, I know I’m the only American in the room, so most likely everyone else in the room already knows the answer to this question, but…disorientated? …do we just not use that word in America? Or when we say ‘disoriented’ are we really just pronouncing ‘disorientated’ incorrectly?”

Of course, that set the whole room laughing at me. I figure that I’m a foreigner either way, so might as well get some comedic use out of it. Anyway, my advisor (who is awesome, by the way) informed me that in fact disoriented and disorientated are both real words, and that each country has simply chosen a preferencial word to use to describe the same feeling. Learn something new every day!

Then he asked me a question about the way Americans speak, and I really want to share this one because it baffled me. He said that an author he reads uses a certain phrasing style whenever his American characters speak, and that he only ever uses it for the American characters, thus implying that it’s a pretty American way to speak. Apparently, when someone is going somewhere and we want to state that we will be going as well, we would say it thus:

“Too, I am going to the store.”

Yeah. Um. I was like, “Er….yeah, pretty sure nobody anywhere talks like that. Does that even make sense?” So if anyone reading this has heard anyone at all ever say, “Too, I am going to the store” or some such gibberish, let me know, so I can correct myself. I’m pretty sure though that Americans speaking that way is someone’s imagination.

I’m still sick as a dog, as it were, but certainly am feeling better than I was last night. Or, I guess, this morning, when I woke up at 5:30 AM and due to all of the California-time clocks surrounding me, thought it was 9:30 PM and that I’d slept through an entire day. Then I due to my poor-sleep induced red eyes thought I had pink eye, and stumbled down the hall to my flatmate Prue’s room and started crying cause I was just so done with being sick. It was, I assure you, ten kinds of fantastic.

Worry not though – between Prue and another flatmate, Zach, I am medicated like clockwork and not allowed to lack sleep nor fluid. If all goes well, and may it please, please, please go well, I’ll be fantastic by the time classes start on Monday.

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3 Responses to “Disoriented- or shall I say, disorientated?”


  1. 1 Catherine September 27, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Kathy, i love this blog. you’re too cute! too, i want to go to England.

  2. 3 Jess September 30, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    1. wait, if classes havent started how did you already have a class?

    2. you feeling any better yet?

    3. i got your postcard! 😀


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photo cred to myself and Maggie J. Moxie

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