Friday, July 17, 2015

Say "real"

       There I was, resting at a quiet shaded corner in Disney's Epcot theme park waiting for my girlfriend's return. Occasionally one or two patrons would walk by; some would stop and ask the staff stationed at the entrance of the attraction, and were told it was closed. My girlfriend was at a site next to this one waiting in line for her space station ride. Two hours of wait time, she told me, all excited. I told her I needed a break. Enough with the long wait.
      "Say 'real'." At the first sound of it, I didn't pay attention.
      "Say 'real'." Still, I was lost in my train of thoughts.
      "Say 'real'. You want Oreo? Say 'real'."
       Now it got my attention. I looked up ahead and saw a middle-aged father tending to his toddler. A common scene in Disney that doesn't deserve a full article of its own, but what caught my eyes was the age of the toddler and the racial difference between these two. The boy, who was in a stroller, could be 6 or 7; kids this age usually refuses to sit in one. Judging by his looks and skin tone, I'd say he was Asian; the dad was Caucasian. Not a rare racial combination because of all the adoptions from Asian countries, but they were the first pair I saw around here.
      The kid didn't seem to be able to say the 'R' sound, so the dad kept pressing him with more "Say 'real'", which sounds pretty much like "reo" in "Oreo". The kid leaned his upper torso forward with his hands reaching all the way towards his dad, but the dad was so determined and still wanted the boy to say the word correctly before allowing him to get a hold of the cookies.
      "Say 'real'," dad pushing the kid's hands aside.
      "Say 'real'," dad moving the cookie package away from him.
      Then another boy came, older, Caucasian, who lowered his body and completely blocked my sight of the kid. By the look of it, it seemed like he was hugging the kid and trying to comfort him. At this moment, I was pondering what I'd observed so far. Kids usually pick up new language very quickly, so my first thought was the dad adopted this kid recently and the little boy came to this country not long ago, so he didn't have enough time to learn the new language. But the age of the boy....
      In the end, I still didn't know if the kid got his cookies.

Disney, Epcot theme park

wear; wore; was wearing
He is wearing a new coat. (now, as we speak)
He wears his new coat wherever he goes. (always, as a habit)
He was wearing a new coat at the party last night. (then, during the time we are speaking about)
He [wore / used to wear / would wear] his new coat wherever he went. (always, as a habit)
He wore his new coat to the party last night. (then, when he traveled to the party, on that occasion)
(1) He wore glasses (2) She was wearing a new coat. ...
.... 'wore' and 'was wearing' ...

In many, many cases, the two are equivalent. Choose the one you like better.

If you are talking about something that always or usually happens, something that occurs regularly, then wore is probably better.

He (always) wore glasses.
She (always) wore the same coat every day.