Last night, as I was walking down the hallway at the high school where I teach night classes in college writing, I saw two custodians having an intense conversation about something.
I stopped at the drinking fountain, and as I was turning to go into my classroom, the man came up to me and said, "Sir, is New England a city or a state?"
After recovering from my bemusement, I said "Neither" and explained that it's a region of six states.
That's when the woman piped up. "Oh, you mean a providence."
"Uh, no," I said. "I mean a region. A province is like a state in Canada."
I'll tell you what, my college freshmen seemed brighter than usual that evening...