by Jessi Finn

English is his first language, but he pronounces "ar-chives" in the way the second syllable is said in describing the grass-green ingredient. It makes me laugh under my breath because he keeps saying it, without noticing how weird it is to me and, now, the girl sitting to my left. I wait for others to notice it in a way that makes them do the same as he continues his PowerPoint presentation. He is trying to be funny with sarcasm, but I cannot laugh at anything past this chosen pronunciation. He says it as if he is rebelling against the English language, without trying to. You can tell when he's passing a joke, his mind conscious of every shrug of choreographed passivity, yet he does not notice the funniest thing he has said in this quarter-hour presentation as it falls behind him.


Jessi Finn is from Northeast Ohio, but she will not live there for much longer. Recently, she completed her journalism degree at Ohio University. You can find her online here.