30 August 2019

Published August 28, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Linda Kreger 


Genre: Hysterical Faction

Word Count: 100


            For Jeffrey, trying to learn Latin was somewhat akin to pushing a cart sideways—uphill. Verb tenses made him tense. Nouns didn’t compute.

            He stared at his teacher’s one word comment scrawled across his most recent quiz. “Mr. Bland, what does ‘tennible’ mean?”

            Mr. Bland leaned back in his chair. “Let’s explore the Latin roots. ‘To have. To hold.’ Teneo, I have. Tenet, you havefrom that root we arrive at ‘tenable—capable of being held.’”

            Jeffrey presented his paper. “Why did you write it on my test?”

            Taking it from the boy, Mr. Bland frowned. “That’s not tenable. That’s ‘terrible.’”


My brother Jeffrey and his wife Debbie.

*The title is Latin for Handwriting. The story itself is not my own, but my brother’s. It was too good not to share. 

95 comments on “30 August 2019

  • Cute and funny memoir, Rochelle. I totally sympathize with Jeffrey. I tried to learn Marathi. The poor lady teaching me told me after several weeks, “You know as much Marathi as someone who just stepped off the plane.” I thanked her and gave the book back. After almost twenty years here I know certain words but that’s all. A friend asked what my mother tongue was. I said English. She said,”No, your mother tongue.” I said “English”. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      You must speak your few words with a good accent. I find that my gift for picking up accents and inflections gets me in trouble because I sound like I know more than I actually do. 😉 Thank you re my story.



      Liked by 2 people

  • Pushing the cart uphill-sideways was pretty much me throughout High School. I loved literature and was a decent writer but when it came to grammar, I sucked. Latin wasn’t an option for me although, I picked up Spanish and was able to read, speak and write without mental interpretation. Jeffrey is, and was, a very intelligent guy. I bet he actually had a fit when he heard the teacher say “terrible “. Good job. AND……I know you have to watch what you say around you or you may wind up in a novel or story. Just sayin……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      You sucked at grammar? Say it isn’t so. 😉 I think at the time Jeff’s teacher told him his paper was terrible he didn’t really care. (By his own admission.) He is highly intelligent and has a vocabulary that shoots way off the charts. To be fair, I warned Jeff when he told me the story that I would probably use it. 😀 Thanks, m’luv.


  • I can relate. When it comes to foreign languages, and I’ve tried studying a few, I think ‘tennible’ describes my outcome as well 😉 I guess having a Mr. Bland as a Latin teacher is better than Mr. Irate…

    Liked by 1 person

  • I saw your discussion about accents. I’m very good at picking them up, usually within a minute or two of hearing it. Never really thought much of it, but it does kinda help when visiting a new area not to stand out so much. Annnd, to feel a little more ‘in the loop’ with locals… languages…. I understand written and heard languages, but to speak them myself… not so good. Latin, well, my Gr. Grandpa taught me at his knee, used to say that if I learned it really well, I’d be able to at least have half and understanding no matter where in the world I went. He was right. I don’t know how many times I’ve taken a foreign language back to it’s Latin roots to figure it out. Most of the time, I can then glean a general idea of what’s being said. Hebrew glyphics are still giving me fits, though. ~Shalom, Bear

    Liked by 2 people

  • Languages are hard to learn. I’ve encountered many who speak one and are far from mastering it. I’m always in awe of people who can learn more than one. Despite being half Hispanic and taking three years in high school, my Spanish is mediocre at best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querido Nobbin,

      I, too, have always wished for a second language. I’m told I do well in Spanish but I’m far from fluent. In my brother’s case it wasn’t really a matter of difficulty, he claims it was more a matter of laziness. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom y paz,


      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      According to “Poor Jeffrey” the course wasn’t difficult for him, he was lazy and easily distracted by everything. 😉 This same kid came out of the air force, went back to college and graduated with honors. Go figure. Thank you re my story. (I don’t like to be hemmed in by boxes).

      Shalom and lotsa hugs,



  • Ha! Ha! Mr. Bland should have been a doctor. Actually I shouldn’t be laughing. My English teacher in grade 7, Brother Comber, had named me ‘the scribe’. He promised to give me 100% if I could improve my handwriting. Never got that 100% 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      Penmanship is a dying art I think. Sadly. It sounds like for Mr. Bland it never lived. 😉 It’s okay to laugh. In fact, that was my mission. To make my readers laugh. 😀




  • Querida Rochelle,
    For a quick second, I thought I was beginning to develop dyslexia. lol
    Clever way to keep us on our toes. What an interesting tale. It’s something that
    could happen to any of us. Un cuento muy bueno. Gracias por compartir con nosotros.
    BTW … my grandson – the one you painted – is a Jeffrey too. Such a strong and manly name. I loved it from the beginning. Perhaps, you were drawn to the photograph by the strong energy of these Jeffrey’s.
    Abrazos y carino,
    Isadora 😎

    ps – my internet may be intermittent due to the impending arrival of a hurricane called Dorian.
    Perhaps, he’s looking for his painting. LOLOL
    I’ll do my best to read the entries of others. 👍🏻🤪😂

    Liked by 2 people

  • Great punchline, Rochelle. 🙂 As someone with terrible (tennible?) handwriting and who has studied and taught language a lot, I can relate to many parts of this story. I’ve missed reading your stories. We moved to Erie, PA this summer and so I’m finally getting back to a place where I can write more regularly. Hope you’re doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

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