The Impossible Book
– Hey, let’s go for a walk or something!
– Oh, I’m kind of busy here…
– Busy bee as always. What are you doing? Reading again? Let me see the title.
– It’s a bit silly, actually. You’re gonna laugh. The title is “It is impossible to teach you a foreign language”.
– So? Like I didn’t know. I always knew there was no way I could be taught a foreign language.
– That’s exactly the point the author makes. His whole argument is that you must teach yourself. You can learn it only yourself, from within; no one can teach you, from without. No teacher, no professor, no one.
– Well, hmm… maybe, it’s not as stupid as the title sounds.
– No, it’s not. It’s pretty funny but also smart at the same time. I think you’d like it.
– I’m suspicious. The guy probably sells you some snake oil in the end. One of those scam artists.
– Nothing of the kind. You just are being cynical. You’ve got to trust people a little more.
– If you say so, but I’m intrigued. Maybe, I can borrow the book from you sometime.
– Sure. When I’m done with it. By the way, you can download it from the Web. For free.
– Really? Maybe, I’ll do that. You can’t beat free…
So, what does it mean? When is it used?
What is the origin of this expression?