Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Confession

My husband often calls me from work to ask me grammar and spelling questions because he has reports that he has to review. How do you embarrass your husband right after he has gotten a promotion on the job? Here's how:

Recent phone conversation between Hubs and me...

Ring Ring

Me: Hello
Hubs: Hey honey. How do you spell plaits like when you are talking about somebody's hair?
Me: Plaits? Why do you need to know how to spell that? White people don't use that word.
Unknown Man's Voice: Yeah. That's why we are asking.
Me: Huh? Oh, am I on speaker?!
Hubs: Yes! Honey, you are on speaker.
Me: Oh, well I was just saying I have really never heard White people use that word so maybe you should use a more universal word like braids.
Hubs: (Chuckling) Okay, thanks.

Background info: My husband explained later that a lady was giving a description of a suspect and described him as having "chunks" in his hair. So of course my husband had to try to come up with a more "hair related" word to describe the "chunks" that she was talking about. He came up with plaits. I told him that "chunks" sounds like the guy may have had little afro puffs. Who knows? I just know that I would not use the word plaits in this case, especially when people who are unfamiliar with the word might be reading the report.

So now I'm thinking, oh crap! Now everyone at his job is going to think he's married to a racist. I was really trying to help even though my attempt may have sounded a little ignorant. I asked my husband if I had embarrassed him and he said no. Only one guy heard me, and he was not offended because he had never heard the term plait used to describe braids. So inquiring minds want to know. Do you think that the word plaits is cultural or universal? Help a sista out White people? Black people? Anyone? Do you use the word plaits? Or was I completely out of line with my assumption.



TwinsanityMom November 8, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

I had no clue what plaits were! :)And I don't think that was offensive what you said. I always like learning something new, so now at least when I see that word I won't have to go look it up! HA!

Alicia November 8, 2009 at 10:35 PM  

LOL, honestly, I never even heard of the word!!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) November 8, 2009 at 10:46 PM  

Never heard of the word. Had to google it! But... thank you for sharing it with me!

Stesha November 9, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

I thinks braids, ponytails, or pigtails are more recognized. In our household we say "plaits" all the time.

Hugs and Mocha,

Tooj November 9, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

If he had "chunks" do you think he had twists? At least that's what I call it as a white person. LOL I haven't heard or used the term plaits, but I'm sure my Hubby would know. I'll ask him tonight!

I think it's funny that you helped your husband out by suggesting a more universal term. It'll help him do his job better. Now if only white people would take the same approach.....

Tara November 9, 2009 at 3:10 PM  

I will risk sounding racist but as a white girl I have not heard plaits used to described braids. I do not think you sounded racist at all. I suspect it is a very cultural word.

Jaime November 10, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

HAHAHA, this conversation is hilarious. I feel for you. Hubs, should have said you are on speaker phone, to give you a heads up. Anyway, I don't use the word plaits, I use cornrows. I think that is a word that alot of people can recognize, regradless of their ethnicity.
This has definitly brought a smile to my face this morning:-)

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