The Swinglisher’s Swinglish: fitness.

There has been a dearth of Swinglish spotting lately, except for an advertisement on a truck for a yogurt that promised a “happy ending.” Not to mix metaphors, but the Swinglisher had to really rack her brain to keep it out of the gutter. Is this referring to a fruit on the bottom kind of thing? Or … ? Yet I can’t imagine how, if you know what I mean.

In any case, said truck escaped from a Swinglisher Photo Shoot by speeding by too quickly, and one rule of this site, as well as in the world at large these days, is “picture or it didn’t happen.”

So let’s use this dearth as an opportunity to begin a new little series. The Swiss are not the only ones who speak Swinglish. In fact, the Swinglisher is guilty of it too, primarily in the form of using those English words that are used by the Swiss with a different meaning and which creep into a native English speaker’s vocabulary until one is no longer sure whether one is speaking a proper English or a Swissified form.

This is especially embarrassing for the Swinglisher as, in her free time, she teaches English. There is nothing worse than having to answer a student’s question about whether a certain word or phrase is the right thing to say with, “I can’t remember if that is a real English word or an English word that I’ve heard used differently or just plain incorrectly too many times by Swiss English-as-another-language speakers and that I’ve now assimilated into my own previously native-quality, now possibly faulty vocabulary.” (Or, as I really say, “Hmm. Good question. Let me get back to you on that.”)

One of these Swinglish words used by the Swinglisher: fitness. I used to know this as a synonym for health, or “the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor.” Now I know it as “a building or room designed and equipped for indoor sports, exercise, or physical education.”

You know, the thing I previously called a gym.