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Studying Post-Grammatic Stress

, , , | Right | May 23, 2010

(I work for the university psychology department where several labs have students participate in experiments. A girl is wandering around the hall looking lost.)

Me: “Excuse me, but you look a little lost. Can I help you find something?”

Volunteer: “Yeah, I signed up to participate in an experiment, but I don’t remember which one or what the requirements were.”

Me: “All right, that’s fine. We can look you up on one of our computers. Can I have your name?”

Volunteer: “[Name].”

(I go to the office computer and find her name, the experiment, and the requirements.)

Me: “Well, it looks like you’re going to be in the lab down the hall and the only requirement is that you should be a native English speaker.”

Volunteer: “Oh, but I don’t know that language.”

Me: “What language?”

Volunteer: “Native English. I’m not familiar with that language, only regular English. I’ll just go tell them I can’t do it. Thanks!”


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