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When uber is cool

“You’re late again! Wow! Where did you get those sandals? They’re ubercool.”

“Ubercool? Uber is the name of a taxi company, isn’t it? Why...”

“I understand that ‘uber’ is actually a German word meaning ‘over’. It is frequently used nowadays in English before nouns to mean ‘extremely’ or ‘super’. When used with a person, you mean that he is a great example of something.”

“I see. So, can I say, uberbatsman Virat Kohli will score three centuries in the series?”

“I guess you could. It was a star-studded event. But uberstar Amitabh was missing.”

“How about this example? Rajiv wants to buy his wife an uber expensive car.”

“It’s not going to happen. Ubermillionaire Rajiv is very careful with his money.”

“Unlike your friend Rajiv who has no clue how to save the little money he has.”

“Rajiv is more a frenemy than a friend, actually. He is...”

“Frenemy? What does it mean?”

“It’s a combination of the words ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’. A ‘frenemy’ is someone who...”

“He probably pretends to be your friend, but can’t really stand you.”

“It looks like the two of you are on friendly terms, but there is intense rivalry and dislike...”

“I see. Do you think Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar are frenemies?”

“I have no idea. I see some of my colleagues as being my frenemies.”

“That’s interesting. You look relaxed. Did you enjoy your day out with your friends?”

“I didn’t go out with my friends. Thought about it, but decided not to. You...”

“But why? You’ve been looking forward to the trip for...”

“Had a really tough week. I needed to chill. I decided I needed some me time.”

“Me time? What does it mean?”

“It’s time for yourself. The time you spend relaxing doing the kind of things you want to. Usually, on your own. This morning I spent my me time cleaning the car.”

“Cleaning the car is your idea of me time? You’re crazy.”

“I find it relaxing. My father’s idea of me time is to sit in a rocking chair on the terrace and listen to Carnatic music.”

“With exams around the corner, I really don’t get much me time. How does that sound?”

“Sounds great. You were supposed to have been here an hour ago. What happened?”

“We told our physics teacher that we were worried about her paper. She said there was nothing to worry about, and gave us a pep talk.”

“A pep talk? Did you know...”

“A pep talk is something that people give in order to encourage you. Coaches usually give their players a pep talk before a big game.”

“It can also be given to get people enthusiastic about something. Our team leader gives a pep talk every Monday morning. Did you know that ‘pep’ is actually the shortened form of ‘pepper’?”

“Pep comes from pepper? But what’s the connection between...”

“One of the meanings of pepper was ‘energy, spirit’. Now, please leave. I have...”

“But I just got here.”

“I know! I need some me time before I start on my project.”

* * *

“Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much.” Oscar Wilde

upendrankye@gmail.co

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 1:58:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/When-uber-is-cool/article16437564.ece

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