One would think that since I am in the newspaper industry that I would be a good speller. Wrong, I have always struggled with spelling.
I was that kid who would ask my mom how to spell something and she would always reply the same…look it up in the dictionary.
As would be expected, my response, how can I look it up if I don’t know how to spell it!
Funny thing though, I love words. I have done crossword puzzles for as long as I can remember. Played Scrabble with my mom also for as long as I can remember.
I enjoy learning and using new words and I shared that love with my son.
When he was young I would always take pride in the comments from his teachers about his vocabulary and how well spoken he was.
It could be from being an only child and hearing the “adults” talk and the fact that he was able to watch his favorite movies over and over on the VCR (yep, I said VCR).
The problem with a well-spoken child however, is you don’t really know if they know the true meaning of the word, or how to use it properly.
Flash back to Scott, age three pushing four, sitting in the living room, playing with a deck of cards, just flipping them over and talking to himself, not sure if he is mimicking a game of poker, spades or solitaire, he’s seen all of them played in our house.
I’m not paying much attention, but all of a sudden I hear…“Well sh*!,” what was that, I look in the room, and there he is, flipping the cards over and saying, “Well sh*!.”
Gasp, he knows how to use that word, and he learned it from his mother, not his father, not our friends, me!
I didn’t jump in at that particular moment, thought I’d wait and see if he used it again, or if this was a one time deal. Actually, he did use it again, we talked about it, and decided together to find a different word to use. It turned out SpongeBob Square Pants says “Tarter sauce” for the same situation that I used, well you know. So Scott’s go to word became Tarter Sauce, and I believe I have heard him use it as recently as this year.
The words that come out of kids’ mouths can sometimes really surprise you, maybe even shock you, but mostly I find it makes me laugh.
I was at the hair salon last week, and all of us were completely entertained by a very chatty and wordy young man. I noticed I was listening to his stories he was sharing and instantly had a smile on my face. He was so excited and animated telling his stories. I wasn’t sure when he was breathing, and was amazed at how he could segue from one story to another and it all made sense.
Many of us were silently laughing, not at him, but at the joy he was having in telling these stories. Some of us were waiting for him to share what he probably shouldn’t share, but he never did. Well, maybe his folks might have thought he over shared, but all of us got a kick out of his stories.
When he left, we all expressed in our own words how we were touched by his stories.
It is so nice to hear young people share their stories, use their words and express themselves.
On the flip side there is what I have noticed about myself as I am aging, I get tongue tied more frequently, transposing words, using the wrong word, and having to stop and think what word I want to use.
Some of these blunders have even made it into being part of our families go to expressions. One of our favorites, “The mowed is lawn” – I announced this one day walking into the kitchen about 10 years ago. This past Monday night, while getting ready for the late cold snap coming our way, Carl mowed the backyard.
He even announced it while walking into the house. “Hey honey, the mowed is lawn.”
Beth Durreman is the publisher of the Republic-Monitor. She may be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 573-547-4567.