on teaching a fifteen-year-old hispanic busboy american swear words:

daniel: what is “fuckin’ a”?

me: well, it can mean a lot of things.  sometimes you say it when you’re surprised, or when something really bad or good happens.  like if you got into harvard and you came up to me and said, “hey alison, i got into harvard!”  i’d say, “fuckin’ a!  that’s awesome!”  you can kind of say it with anything.

daniel: alison is fuckin’ a!

me: no, no, it’s not an adjective!