It was time for my annual check up. As soon as I got to the doctor’s office the nurse inquired whether I had already been given my “TB” test inoculation. In my tentative English, I replied that no, I had never had one. As it so happens, in Spanish a “b” and “v” are virtually the same sound. She proceeded to administer the shot and, perplexed, I wondered why anyone would need a shot to watch television. After I got home, I told my husband about my strange experience. He looked at me with a mixture of mirth and alarm: “Mila, that was a tuberculosis shot and you got vaccinated as a child! You can have a serious reaction! Call your doctor immediately and tell her to say the whole word from now on: TU-BER-CU-LOSIS!”
Luckily, I didn’t have any reaction, but I finally, was able to notice the difference between “b” as a boy and “v’ as vaccine.