Speaking of Colons

Punctuation or Not?

My students are often asking me random questions, sometimes related to English, sometimes not.

Recently, one of my students came up to my desk to ask me a question.

“Mr. _____, what’s a colon?”

“Well, do you mean the punctuation mark?”

“No, like the part of your body.”

I had to think through how to answer this one.

“Well, it is the the part of the body that processes waste.”

I am met with a blank stare.  I had to rephrase.

“It holds your poop.”

“Ah, dang.  That’s gross!  Wait, so what’s a colonoscopy?”

From the other side of the classroom I heard some other students look at him and laugh.  They had put this poor kid up to it.  Now I had to keep going.

“A colonoscopy is when a doctor sticks a tube in your butt and starts to–”

“Never mind,” said the student and walked back to his group of friends, blushing.

Sometimes I love this job.


2 thoughts on “Speaking of Colons

  1. Haha! This reminds me of one of my favorite (similarly themed) conversations with a student! A girl and a boy come up to me. She asks, “Hey, why is it when I do this [she jabs the boy with her elbow], it’s called ‘elbowing’? But when I do this [she punches him on the arm] it’s not called ‘fisting’?” I told her, “Because fisting is something else entirely.” She says, “Oh! That’s a real word? What does it mean?” I told her, “It means something that I shouldn’t talk to you about at school.”

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