All I Want is a Burger

With each new “app” more words and expressions seem to be created. With each trend, words come spilling out from the broken dam of human creativity. I mean “twirking” now that cannot possibly be a word, but somehow I know what it means. I did my own independent research and sure enough it is derived from the verb “to twirk”. It’s Latin derivation is “twirkticus” meaning to grind grapes with your back side. (I was told this, but I could be wrong).

This then leads me to the thought of ‘what is language anyway?’ I was once in Japan and I wanted to get a burger at the local A&W (Yes for you Americans just like the root beer.) I walked in and immediately felt out-of-place with my height, complexion and hair color. Well basically I probably looked like a hairy troglodyte. Everyone put down their burger, fries and root beer floats and watched as I headed to the counter. I looked at the menu of pictures and quickly understood what was on offer. I found my desire and spoke in clear slow English “the star-spangled burger meal please.” The small cute Asian girl gave here best shot at trying to accommodate and not come across as insulting. She smiled and nodded but I could tell she had not placed my order. I said it even slower “star-spangled burger meal, pleeeeese.” Still she responded with the same funny smile and head bob. Seeing my progress was not getting me any closer to a meal I lifted my massive hairy arm and with a limp wrist and slightly pointed fingers I pointed to the picture I wanted. My mouth was slightly open and I made a grunt for the number ‘one’. I then followed with an arm wave over to the cups on display and loosely pointed to the middle cup. Again I grunted much like the word ‘medium’. The crowd around me broke out in conversation on my actions and the cute young girl behind the counter got to work.

She said something else which I can only imagine was request for payment. I grunted and then pulled all my money out and it spilled all over the counter. She smiled, nodded again and chose the exact amount. (I think.) I promptly got my meal and headed to the undersized seating and ate my meal. I would’ve sworn the rest of the crowd was commenting on how I ate. No worries though, my hunger was extinguished as I took the last sips from my root beer, making a very loud slurping sound. I got up and all the place went quiet again. Thirty eyes must have been on my movements. I made eye contact with the girl who had helped me get my meal and gave her a grunt of thanks. She waved with a slight pensive smile.

So with a series of grunts and facial/body expressions I could convey an idea. Wherever our language is taking us, I have a feeling that I will still be able to order a meal. So twerk away…all is well.

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