Today in my syntax class the teacher was trying to think of a sample sentence which involved a lot of verbs in a sequence. She started off with “I went to Beijing…” but was having trouble thinking of a sufficiently long sentence.
I piped up with, “I went to Beijing to meet a guy to buy a gun to kill a man.” Some people laughed.
The teacher responded, “No, that’s too violent.”
One of my classmates asked, “Are you making a reference to that news about the shooting in Virginia?”
“Huh?” I responded.
I didn’t know anything about it at the time, but I know about it now.
It’s weird… I’m not a violent person, and I’ve never had any interest in owning a gun, but I’m still American, and it came out in class in an unintentionally tasteless context. And just the other day I was explaining the Bill of Rights to a Chinese friend, and what the Second Amendment was, and how it’s really important in the USA.
I’m feeling really culturally awkward today.