Saturday, February 28, 2015

El Gran Debate del Vestido y Starbucks Lovers

I have been captivated by the "Great Dress Debate" lately.  The more I look at the original photograph, the better I can see it either way - it's obviously blue and black . . . until it's not, and then it's obviously white and gold.  Very very interesting optical illusion.  In case you have managed to miss this debate, you can read about it here on CNN.

If you watch the television show Brain Games (recommended!) then you are used to these sorts of color illusions.  I'm always stunned to learn that the color I thought was yellow was actually brown or something like that.  I mention it because these sorts of discussions can be had with Spanish students - even ones at the very beginning of their language journey.

The following is not really a funny, since there is no humor value in it that I'm aware of.  But I put it together with the thought that it might make Spanish 1 and 2 students smile.

On Monday, I will be sharing this with my students and talking a little about illusions - optical as well as auditory.  For example, Taylor Swift has a song out right now called "Blank Space."  It is a catchy song and I enjoy singing along every time it comes on the radio.  I'm good at knowing all the lyrics to all the songs, so I was surprised today to learn that I had the words all wrong.  I thought Taylor was saying "I get along with Starbucks lovers" at one point, and apparently I'm not the only one that heard it that way.  This article at Metro Lyrics addresses the same issue.  Taylor is actually saying "I got a long list of ex lovers."  My daughter told me this today and I looked at her like she was crazy, but then I listened to the song again and, sure enough, it is as clear as a bell - long list of ex lovers.

When I was in Mexico for the first time (still an intermediate language learner at that time) I kept hearing people talking about chicken, or so I thought, in serious conversations.  Discussions about relationships shouldn't involve chicken.  News anchors shouldn't mention chicken when talking about foreign policy . . . .  It turns out the word I was hearing was apoyo - not pollo.  Things like this happen to us all the time - even in our own language (Starbucks lovers), so I hope my students will be gentle with themselves and their listening comprehension when they see how easily our ears and eyes can be fooled.

Hasta pronto amigos (y aficcionados de Starbucks),



SpanishPlans said...

I didn't know about the dress thing until my entire Instagram feed was full of it. You can find similar images like the one you found at

Anne Karakash said...

How cool is this?! I had no idea that there was such a treasure trove of Spanish memes and funnies out there in one place . . . well, other than Pinterest. This is great, SpanishPlans. I obviously need you in my life to tell me about these great things!! ~hugs~ --AnneK

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