Daily Archives: Sabtu, 1 Agustus 2009

The American English Teacher Who Failed To Understand The Word “Vixen”

smarter_5thTo tell the truth, I like quiz programmes like this “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” which is aired by StarWorld every Wednesday night. Yet it was the first time last Wednesday night I watched this quiz show. How come I missed all the tensions on each episode previously? Simple! Movie channels, National Geographic or even Animal Planet used to tarnish the lustre of this show! 😛 And it happened when those fave channels of mine altogether failed to show the best programmes so I had to switch the channels around before eventually I stumbled upon this show.

The night’s episode was on wedding. A female high school English teacher arrived at the show wearing a wedding gown and she claimed she just got married only three hours earlier! She wanted to go on with her wedding party as soon as she’s finished the game. She brought her new husband too into the show though her husband could only sit back as a spectator. The game eventually rolled and she selected the subjects one after another.

When she arrived at the 1st grade Animal Science, this was the part that astounded me! The question was actually of no bother and she breezed it through with a few thousand dollars already in her pocket by correctly answering the question. It went like this:

“Which one below is the female pig?”

a) Vixen.
b) Mare.
c) Sow.

She answered correctly by singling out “sow”. But the odd part came afterwards when the host unwittingly asked a question to the English teacher if she knew what is a vixen. Astonishingly she failed to answer one! Of course she had a good excuse implying that the question was labelled as “Animal Science” instead  of “English” but to me, the word ‘vixen’ is a word of basic English vocabulary!! And I think lots of 5th grader or even lower (especially in countries where English is a primary or official language) have recognised the word ‘vixen’ (a female fox) . I bet lots of you who are reading this article have been familiar with the word ‘vixen’ too.

As the conclusion of this article…. to all of you, my fellow non-English speakers, is it relieving to find that an English teacher from an English speaking country is not necessarily smarter than us the non-English native speakers a fifth grader (at English)?? :mrgreen:


The English teacher managed to answer correctly only two questions without the aid of the 5th graders. One of them is the question above while the other is the 1st grade English! The World Geography question on which continent is Danube river located was the one which delivered the coup de grâce to her!