I ply my trade as an English teacher in rural Czech Republic. From time to time my students point things out to me that I had never considered before and more often than not it interests and/or amuses me. This week I was doing an exercise with one student when we came across the word wasps. My student struggled with the pronunciation so of course I demonstrated how I would say it then, she started laughing. I asked her why she found it so funny and she said that the sound was amusing. I didn’t think too much of it until after the lesson I said to myself wasps, wasps, wasps and the more I said it the more ridiculous it did indeed sound to me. I found this quite interesting as if I am honest I never really gave this word or the sound it makes much though before now, but try it yourself, repeat wasps, wasps, wasps, wasps, wasps and you will begin to doubt whether you say it correctly and find the pronunciation humourous, if like me you are easily amused.
When I was looking around for a photo of wasps for this post I came across the following picture:
This is a photograph of Vespula germanica or what is termed a social wasp. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as depending on your point of view of course this seemed a contradiction in terms. I personally dislike wasps and have no compunction about dispatching them from this life, to me these creatures are extremely anti-social, as they strive to ruin my summers and early autumns by interrupting my outdoor coffees or evening barbecues. Still next time I see them I will say their name over and over a few times in order give myself a smile and take the sting out of any encounter.