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by Dr. Parley Speake

ANXIOUS/EAGER: "I'm so anxious to go!" remarked a patient. We were going on a picnic the Center for English as a First Language was having down at Moot Point on the River Rio just outside of town.

Staff nearby hesitated, wondering why this patient was anxious. Fear of water? Allergy to ants? Lack of cell phone service?

A second later, we all realized she was a new patient and hadn't been treated for Anxious-Eager Syndrome. Somehow, she had never learned that anxious means full of anxiety or negative anticipation. It's not pleasant.

Eager means full of positive anticipation. It's pleasant.

When this patient leaves us, she'll be eager to demonstrate the English really is her first language.

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