Nalini: Moshi, moshi. [Phone greeting in Japanese]
Friend: Hi, I have a question about some words I don’t understand.
Friend: What do ‘la’ and ‘de’ mean?
Nalini: [Insert puzzled silence] Um, I don’t think those words exist in English.
Friend: Oh, it’s not English, it’s French.
Nalini: [Pondering why she’s suddenly been credited with fluency in the French language] Well…I only studied about a semester of French when I was thirteen.
Friend: Oh, really? You don’t speak French? [Extreme surprise]
Nalini: Er, no.
Note: This friend has known me for two years, during which time I have never spoken French in her presence, nor have I ever hinted that I might be hiding such skills for some nefarious reason of my own. And yet...