August 12, 2005

"Are you Christian?"

I just walked over to a perfect stranger in a café and said that to him. I was supposed to meet someone named Kristian for an interview. He was late, and I walked over to a guy who had the rectangular glasses my interviewer said he'd be wearing, said "Are you Kristian?" – he wasn't – and only afterwards realized I'd made myself sound like a religious proselytizer.

13 comments:

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Could be worse: you could have asked if he was a Berliner.

chuck b. said...

"Are you Christian?" and "are you a Christian?"--you get the same sense whether you use Christian as a noun or an adjective. Is there a word for words like that? The only other example I can think of off the top of my head is lesbian.

Robert said...

Is there a word for words like "cleave", which mean their own opposite?

Nick said...

Are you Mary vs. Are You Merry?

I suppose one might only get confused around Christmas time.

nina said...

Did he say: no, are you? Bet you bludhed.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Robert: They're called contranyms.

Ann Althouse said...

Nina: I immediately caught myself and said "oh, it sounds like I'm asking if you're a Christian, but I'm looking for a guy named Kristian," etc. etc. which I'm sure I found more entertaining than he did. Of course, I was pleased at the whole thing because I immediately knew I'd be blogging about it.

Robert said...

Thanks, JAC.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Finn Kristiansen said...

Maybe this fellow was sitting there, asking at that moment in his head, "God, what am I to you and how shall I be?" and God saw Ann walking by and used her voice. So Ann thinks she was looking for one thing, and yet, was actually doing something else by accident.

Pastor_Jeff said...

"Are you Gaye?"

Mom Underground said...

Very funny! I'd have been amused, also, and blogged about it.

Steven Taylor said...

You know you are a hardcore blogger when: Of course, I was pleased at the whole thing because I immediately knew I'd be blogging about it.

And I have had the same mental experience: "cool! this'll make a good post."