Coughing and Sneezing

“Will you please get me a soda?”

Good Man shook his head no.

“Why not?”

“There is none.”

“How many did you drink today?”

“Only one,” he said.

“There is one. On the bottom shelf where I hid it this morning because I wanted to drink a soda when I got home.”

Good Man’s body shook with laughter. “Wow,” he said, “you are so lovely.”

I sneezed and Good Man copied me. “A-chooo!”

“Don’t make fun of me,” I complained.

“I am just trying to cough like an American.”

“That was a sneeze,” I corrected him, “not a cough.”

“What’s the difference?”

“A cough comes from the lungs and go through the mouth.” I demonstrated. “A sneeze comes from the nose and goes through the nose and mouth.” I demonstrated.

Good Man stared at me. “It’s all connected up there, nose, mouth, throat…”

“But a sneeze is like a tickle in the nose and a cough is a tickle in a throat.”

He shook his head. “English is too complicated.”

One thought on “Coughing and Sneezing

  1. Comment from: william [Visitor] ·
    so i just wanted to mention that good man is not the only korean out there who doesn’t get the difference between ‘cough’ 기침하다 and ‘sneeze’ 재채기하다. i meet with 4 korean teachers at my school (not english teachers) twice a week, and once, when we were in the middle of a lesson about illnesses, the words ‘cough’ and ‘sneeze’ came up. and none of the teachers could tell me the difference between a cough and a sneeze. they think both are 기침 (cough), which is like, what?! i was kinda baffled there for a minute. just, i had no idea why in their entire lives did they not figure out the difference between those two actions/words. strange.
    12/19/09 @ 04:20

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