The World Englishes Committee Takes the Pivot Questionnaire

Kendra Slayton

  1. What is your favorite word? 挑戦 “chōsen” (pronounced “ch-OH-sen”). It’s a Japanese word that sort of means “challenge,” but in a somewhat positive way–a sort of challenge that you undergo to show your defiance or courage.
  2. What is your least favorite word? A specific word doesn’t come to mind, but academic jargon when it’s not necessary drives me a little crazy.
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Archery!
  4. What turns you off? Watching the news too much.
  5. What is your favorite curse word? Probably f***. To quote a famous early 2000s YouTube video by pseudo-Monty Python, “It’s the one magical word!” “There aren’t too many words with the versatility of f***.” Though I try to watch my language so as not to cause offense. (Note: H R Green agrees with Kendra in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.)
  6. What sound or noise do you love? The sound of my bow. (Yes, I know this is weird, but a well-tuned bow sounds great when you shoot it.)
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? Nails on a chalkboard. I accidentally did this once when teaching and had to take a minute to recover.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Archery! (Notice a trend?) Of course I do archery for fun, but if someone wanted to pay me to do it, that would be great.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? I don’t think I’d like to be a lawyer. It would be too much pressure for me!
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Come on in! Everyone’s here.”

Alok Amatya

  1. What is your favorite word? Pianissimo.
  2. What is your least favorite word? Infinitesimal.
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Walking through an old palace square.
  4. What turns you off? Queues at the grocery store.
  5. What is your favorite curse word? Emmerde.
  6. What sound or noise do you love? Any acoustic bass instrument.
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? Vibrating windowpanes.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Olympic weightlifting.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Trapeze artist.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “I made a mistake; you can go back.”

Jeff Howard

  1. What is your favorite word? The one that gets me the most points in Scrabble. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to find a way to spell quizzical across two triple-word scores and get a bingo. That’d be worth, let me see, um, 38 x 9 + 50 = shoot, mental math. It’s A LOT, okay?
  2. What is your least favorite word? Affordances.
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Cooking and bread-making.
  4. What turns you off? Meetings.
  5. What is your favorite curse word? Definitely shit.
  6. What sound or noise do you love? Luciano Pavarotti singing “Nessun Dorma.”
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? My kids’ shrieking. It makes me want to simultaneously jump out of my skin AND punch a tree.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional wrestler.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? I would never be a Radio City Rockette. I just couldn’t do it. It’s not like I can’t do a split; I just don’t like Christmas music that much.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “There are ribs on the grill, Coke Zero Sugar in the cooler, and we were just about to start a game of Kubb. Also, quizzical gets you 392 points. You’re welcome.”

 

Eric Lewis

  1. What is your favorite word? That’s a tough one. I always loved the word panache.
  2. What is your least favorite word? Any word that I find especially difficult to say in my Missouri accent. I suppose the word that comes up most often is horror given the ENGL 1102 course I’m currently teaching.
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Playing a game with a friend or friends—a card game, a board game, a video game online or in split screen, whatever.
  4. What turns you off? “Meetings” is a hard answer to beat. We have so many of them at Georgia Tech! I’m still adjusting.
  5. What is your favorite curse word? Motherfucker. I don’t curse a lot, but I tend to leap straight to this one. I call my old, dying MacBook a “motherfucker” a lot.
  6. What sound or noise do you love? Jeff’s note about not liking Christmas music has me stuck on that topic. I also am not a Christmas music fan, but I genuinely love Wham!’s “Last Christmas.”
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? I hate just how much I can hear from my neighbors’ apartments in my poorly made apartment building. My former downstairs neighbor liked to play one Skrillex song on a loop at random hours, and my current downstairs neighbor frequently plays the ukulele for his young daughter. The one’s obnoxious and the other sweet, but I’m starting to find them similarly annoying.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Podcaster.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? My first job was as a McDonalds team member. I’d rather not do that again.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Haha, I don’t know. I have a complicated relationship with religion, so my first thought is: “Told you so.”