EHRMAHGERD! HERLERWERN!

As a high school French teacher,

I am occasionally devoted to my work to a fault. Halloween is usually a prime example of said ridiculous over-devotion . . . Every year, we teachers attempt to dress in ridiculous costumes for the general amusement, entertainment and edification of our students. I see it as a personal challenge to make my costume relate to French in some way.

Example: Once, I dressed up as Marie Antoinette…

That year I brought cake for all my classes and let them eat it.

This year I had a plan, or at least an inspirationBut, thanks to Sandy, I was thwarted in my super-secret costume plans by delayed shipping, and thus found myself doing a last-minute scramble to gear up for Halloween. In attempting to root out the absolute best last-minute costume for this year in the absolute last few minutes, I entertained a multitude of ideas. In the end, however, I wound up returning to the world of internet memes where my classes had recently forayed. It was 8pm when I decided to do the unthinkable; be the ERMAHGERD girl. . . en français.

For those of you who might be unfamiliar (and don’t want to follow the link to the world of internet memes to find an explanation) I will share with you explanation . . . A “meme” is a term with a lot of nuanced definition you can look up that today often refers to a picture that becomes hugely popular on the internet (i.e. goes viral). These images are often given a variety of subtitles and often doctored (for better or worse). Now, meme pictures often convey a specific look/feel that add to the words in some way. Enter the EHRMAHGERD girl. Her extremely-awkward photo became the basis for a series of memes that highlights the mispronunciation of “Oh My God”, usually accompanying some fairly ridicule-worthy-yet-appreciate-able images. Typically, this strain of meme is used to illustrate overly-enthusiastic or extreme reactionary expressions to something average (as far as I can tell). A few weeks/months ago, my students and I decided to translate the pheMEMEnon, and wound up with ERMERNDIEUR . . .

Anyhow, now that we’ve got all explanations covered, you should know that my late-night choice left me just enough time to run out to Savers  for an awkward pair of pants and a vest before they closed at nine. After a half hour of searching, a somewhat-dubious-moi paid the cashier for some of the ugliest clothing I had ever seen. Actually, the Savers Cashier ended up being highly encouraging  (“You’re going to be the ERMAHGERD GIRL?! That’s awesome! I wish you were my teacher!”), so bolstered by her enthusiasm, I went home and used glue-sticks, cardboard, and anything else I could find to perfect the outfit.

Several hot-glue-burns later (aka, MUCH later), I was

“perpehrd”. 

This morning, I arrived at work as one seriously tired meme (double entendre INTENDED).

(And, yes, I do have French Goose Bumps Books, Aherm, I mean “Chair de Poule”.)

So, when we compare, not too shabby for the last minute, ay?

Well, at least not unintentionally too shabby. I hope you all had as much fun costuming, and I think I’ve earned the right to wish you all a

WERNDERFERL HERLERWERN! 

Translating ERMAHGERD

Maybe you have heard of the memes which spring from the word “ERMAHGERD”?

For Example:

via

Or This One:

via

Or (a personal favorite):

via

For those of you who haven’t been introduced, this series of memes highlights the mispronunciation of “Oh My God”, usually accompanying some fairly ridicule-worthy-yet-appreciate-able images.

via

Typically, this strain of meme is used to illustrate overly-enthusiastic or extreme reactionary expressions to something average (as far as I can tell).

via

They can also be used to show a general lack of intelligence (aka: “Derpiness“), or to poke fun at a person or idea.

For Example: via

or

via

Sometimes they do not necessarily intend negative commentary, but just seize the opportunity to make fun of someone’s “Derpy,” or awkwardly vacant, expression. Case in point:

via

Similarly, they might be mocking an idea or concept that is particularly ridiculous. For example, The Nannerpuss Commercial (From Denny’s, a while back) would probably only be appealing to someone with a proclivity for that which is “derpy”. . . which is probably why this next meme was made, don’t you think?

via

Now, usually I don’t like memes that involve crappy language. The “I CAN HAZ” ones make me want to burn down buildings.

via

BUT, these ERMAHGERD ones came up in my class yesterday, and I honestly don’t know what it is about them, but I think I love them.

via

It’s just so . . . HEARABLE.

Other people must think so, too, because there is actually an online translator for ERMAHGERD (!?) which allows you to type in regular language and see how your text would appear in this brand of meme-speak! Now, although I admit openly to enjoying them, I also still have to hold the bar up at a certain level when it comes to my expectations for academically legitimate vocabulary in the classroom. . . which means that I laughed, but also told my students that they should use French as their 2nd language in my classroom . . . not ERMAHGERD. . . which lead to the question: How WOULD you say ERMAHGERD in French?

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Since I commonly preach the evils of online translators, I tried to practice what I teach and stick with my own attempts at speaking this new language . . . and came up with the following meme-translation. . .
via

And there you have it.

Now you are as well versed in ERMAHGERD as I have become of late. Experts in the field (or should I say: ferld?), is there anything I missed?