What happened, Yolanda? / ¿Qué pasó, Yolanda?

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

TODAY’S MUSIC WAS INSPIRED BY the boat, above, called “My Yolanda.” You can see the name upside down in the lower left of the photo.

It’s mostly cloudy and overcast again today. I went for a walk not realizing it had just rained. The pavement was slick and I wasn’t wearing the best sneakers for it, so I didn’t go far. A very rainy weekend is predicted. We shall see.

Speaking of “shall,” Jesica asked me yesterday the difference between “will” and “shall.” We discussed it. Look it up if you’re interested; it would take me too long. And then there was the question of when to use “such as” as opposed to “like.” It’s interesting to note that most English speakers wouldn’t give it a second thought nor would they know the difference. As I’ve since had time to give both questions more thought, I’ll have clearer explanations for Jesica when we meet again Thursday. Online explanations are much too complicated for someone new to the language (or even someone “old” to the language).

I spoke to The Kid Brother last night. Like many (if not most) Americans, he has never said “shall” once in his life, nor has he used “such as.” He was in a great mood. I didn’t reach him last week, so the first thing he said, laughing, was, “Hey, what’s the idea?!? No call last week?!?” He told me (for what it’s worth) that he didn’t receive a single bit of mail. But he said, “Don’t worry. It’ll get here. Don’t worry about a thing!” You heard him! don’t worry about a thing!


LA MÚSICA DE HOY FUE inspirada por el barco, arriba, llamado “Mi Yolanda”. Puedes ver el nombre al revés en la parte inferior izquierda de la foto.

Hoy está mayormente nublado. Salí a caminar sin darme cuenta de que acababa de llover. El pavimento estaba resbaladizo y no llevaba las mejores zapatillas, así que no fui muy lejos. Se prevé un fin de semana muy lluvioso. Veremos.

Hablé con El Hermanito anoche. Estaba de muy buen humor. No me comuniqué con él la semana pasada, así que lo primero que dijo, riendo, fue: “Oye, ¿cuál es la idea?!? ¿No llamada la semana pasada?” Me dijo (por si valía la pena) que no había recibido ni un solo correo. Pero él dijo: “No te preocupes. Llegará aquí. ¡No te preocupes por nada!” ¡Lo escuchaste! ¡No te preocupes por nada!

A plover (of some sort). Maybe a gray plover (that’s the name, not only the description.)
Un chorlito (de algún tipo). Tal vez un chorlito gris (ese es el nombre, no solo la descripción).
• Yesterday, a team from Acosol, the Costa del Sol’s public water supply and sanitation company as they near the monuments to the tourist and the peseta. I wish the tourist would let go of the damned pigeon.
• Ayer, un equipo de Acosol, la empresa pública de provisión y saneamiento de agua de la Costa del Sol en su acercamiento a los monumentos al turista y a la peseta. Ojalá el turista soltara la maldita paloma.
• The surviving tamarinds are in bloom.
• Los tamarindos supervivientes están en flor.
• The Ale-Hop cow was ready for the rain (unlike me). Unfortunately, her cow mask was in the wash, so we didn’t match. I suppose I didn’t need to social distance. I think I’ll call her Yolanda. Yolanda Ale-Hop.
• La vaca Ale-Hop estaba lista para la lluvia (a diferencia de mí). Desafortunadamente, su máscara de vaca estaba en el lavado, por lo que no coincidimos. Supongo que no necesitaba la distancia social. Creo que la llamaré Yolanda. Yolanda Ale-Hop.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

40 thoughts on “What happened, Yolanda? / ¿Qué pasó, Yolanda?”

    1. David:
      It IS fun. I find great things for Luke there, as well as for myself at times.

  1. Aw, I love Chuck! Such a good “kid”. Love the cow photo too. You look well. I have no mask photos except for the one Todd took of me getting the vaccine.

  2. Shall/will……such as/like……..the ‘formers’ are losing their position in our English language usage, I feel. Too bad because the overuse of ‘LIKE” by everyone gets on my nerves…..lol
    Finally have sent a postcard to Chuck……difficult to find these nowadays (at least good ones). Interesting to learn how long this will take (mailed on Saturday).

    1. Jim:
      Thanks so much for sending the card. Hope to soon hear of its arrival. I have known few Americans who have used the word “shall.” More Brits, but still not a lot. Jesica was dinged as incorrect for using will instead of shall!

  3. Gather the USPS is still taking its own sweet time delivering the mail. Sigh.

    The English language is a toughie. I’m sure you are looking forward to explaining differences of words like then and than to Jesica, along with all our thousands of quirky idioms that make no sense in direct translation or words that are spelled alike but have more than one meaning (6 yr old GS is doing that in his schoolwork this week). Cap. Bat. Tip…

    1. Mary:
      Oh, we’ve already talked about then and than … and that and what… and many more. Sometimes, I can give good reasons when Jesica says it makes no sense. Other times, I laugh and say “That’s because it’s English.” And then all the words that have so many different meanings. It’s a lesson for me, as well!

    1. James A. Francis … (oops, was that intentional?):
      Fuengirola, as far as I’m concerned, has poor judgment when it comes to public sculpture. That Monument to the Tourist is a very good example of that very poor judgment.

    1. Debra:
      So do I. It makes me smile every time I see it and I love the umbrella whenever it rains and the mask during the pandemic. It’s a fun and clever business.

  4. “My Yolanda” reminds me of “My Sharona.”

    I know the “such as” vs. “like” rule from my past in journalism — though I’m sure I violate it from time to time in my more casual blogging mode. “Shall” seems like one of those words destined to vanish from the language sooner rather than later.

    Why is the tourist holding a pigeon?! Or is she releasing a dove of peace?

    1. Steve:
      Well, if you’re going to nit-pick, OK, it’s a dove of peace. But that didn’t sound as funny to me and I still think she should let it go. Typcial tourist!

      Shall has been rare in American speech forever (or at least in my lifetime). Do you hear it used much in England? I do have some British friends who use it more than Americans, but most don’t use it either. And how many Americans do you suppose have a clue about the difference between such as and like? Yet, Jesica is expected to know that for an “English Tourism” course.

  5. Isn’t shall more like should instead of will? “Should We Dance” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Anyway, we have cows and cow masks so all is fine with the world today. For a minute minute. Now there’s a couple of confusing words 🙂

    1. Deedles:
      But then when is should not like shall? YOU explain that to Jesica. David Bowie had it right, Let’s dance! I love sharing words like minute and minute with Jesica. She had to admit that Spanish has some examples, as well. But English really does win out. A Spanish example: “tipo” means “type,” as in “what type of person are you”? However, “tipo” also means “guy,” as in “that guys very strange.” ¿Qué tipo es ese tipo?

  6. I still remember the old I Love Lucy episode where Ricky was trying to pronounce English words that seemingly look the same but sound so different, like: through, enough, thought, drought, dough.
    English is hard!!!

    1. Bob:
      I’ve spent some with Jessica on those words. She thinks we’re nuts. Bow and bough and the multiple meanings.

  7. LOVE the cow! and the ASSets on the public works employees! and the tamarind blooms!

    1. anne marie:
      The tamarinds really are beautiful in bloom, although many don’t, and the rest die!

  8. Great music, got me dancing! I use shall all the time and shall continue to use it. Some sentences just call for it, such as the previous one. You will have Jesica speaking English more correctly than many (most?) folks with English as their first language.

    1. Wilma:
      And that’s why you left the country! SG was the first person I knew to regularly use the word “shall.” But I rarely hear it anymore. Jesica (like SG) is very academic in her approach to learning language. She wants to understand the rules of grammar. It’s more difficult for her to get the pronunciation correct, but she can parse and explain. I learn by hearing and repeating. I hear music in every language and that helps me pronounce things correctly and remember. But her need to understand the reason for a sentence structure challenges me every day.

  9. Before you get asked you might like to look up and study ‘get’. It is a very interesting word. Anglophones ‘get’ it but try explaining it to a language student. It’s a word you don’t need but use in certain cases but at others it is necessary but how to explain it ? I have been asked so… many times to explain it but I don’t think I can. I try. It has so many connotations.

    I so miss teaching English. I used to learn so much from my students. One day life will return to ‘normal’.


    1. Karen:
      I don’t think we’ve hit “get” yet! Oh no!!! I’ve thought of “getting” certified in teaching English, but I do this simply for the pleasure of helping people I know. So, there doesn’t seem much point — except for being better able to explain some things! At least I was an English minor and a professional editor, so I’m not too dangerous. I love how much I’ve learned from all the friends I’ve taught since coming to Spain. What about the American “gotten”? Our English friends laugh every time they hear it — even though it used to be used in England, too.

      1. You are right the English do laugh at ‘gotten’ but it is old English and is actually correct.

      2. Karen:
        I like to point that out, since they think it’s just some stupid American thing (not that I normally like defending stupid American things).

  10. Languages are such complicated things. When you are born into it, you automatically learn all of the nuances. I am studying French now and it is hard when it comes to those things that textbooks really cannot teach.

    1. mcpersonalspace54:
      I can’t count the number of times I’ve answered Jesica’s “Why do you say it that way” question with “Because it’s English.” We have plenty of rules but we have more exceptions and word usage is comical. I never truly appreciated that until I started teaching friends here. I studied French in 4th and 5th grade and loved it! Now just about all I remember are the conversation LPs! Yes, we sat in front of a “record player” and then repeated what they said.

      1. I grew up near French Canada, so French was the foreign language everyone took. I am by no means fluent, as I’ve not had anyone to talk to anymore. Spanish is the second language here in Virginia.

      2. mcpersonalspace54:
        We lived on Long Island until I was nearly 11. In our suburban school, everyone was started on a language in 4th grade. No choice of language. I was started on French. My sister had been started on Spanish. Then we moved to Brooklyn and the NYC public schools sadly started advanced students on a language in 7th grade. Average students in 9th grade (if at all). Again no choice of language. My class was started on Spanish. At the time, although I loved Spanish, I was annoyed I couldn’t continue French. Now, I’m very happy. Still, I wish I had kept up on French, as well.

  11. Having spoken English in England for over 70 years, I have to say I have never really thought about the difference between shall and will ! No idea how I use them either……I just open my mouth and hope that the appropriate words come out! Not going to start thinking about it now either as I shall/will probably just tie myself in knots.

    1. Frances:
      That’s what I find so fascinating about teaching English to Jesica. She’s so academic in her approach and wants to understand the reasons behind everything. It makes me appreciate how little we truly understand our own language… (well I may be overstepping by suggesting you and I speak the same language).

  12. When I did my English CELTA training ALL the Anglophones said that we didn’t learn grammar. That was English, Americans, Canadians etc. We don’t learn languages like the French, Spanish, Italians, Germans who ‘study’ the language. Anglophones just pick it up by hearing it and being corrected. When did you ever rote learn I love, you singular love, he/she loves, we love, you plural love and they love. We don’t ever learn English English or American English like other nationalities. We need to go back to Grammar as grammar holds the language together. That is why these nationalities ask the questions that they do about the structure of grammar.

    1. Karen:
      I’d never thought about it. I’ve done it with Jesica sometimes, but it wasn’t very helpful. Amo, amas, ama, amamos, amáis, aman has a rhythm to it. Love, love, loves, love, love, love… doesn’t really help! English IS strange. Then again, Spanish does have its quirks. I’ll share more of those.

    1. Urspo:
      One of the lines I remember most from my first year of Spanish was on the LP we had to listen to: “Seguro que albóndigas.” I have more chance of using that than you have of using Aviso! Vacas!

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