Sunday, November 04, 2007

Baby Talk

Baby Talk

You'd think that an author, someone who uses words to work with, would take care that her children spoke perfectly. The truth is, I believe words are for communication, and that can take many forms. One thing that bothers me about the system of teaching kids a foreign language is the sheer lack of fun in it. It's boring, exacting, and forgettable - whereas language should be fun, forgiving, and most of all - for communicating.

So, my kids learned to talk, but when they made mistakes - if they were cute and made me laugh - I didn't correct them. They'd learn soon enough a grasshopper wasn't really called a Hopper Grass.
Here are some of their best words:

Blankety. (Blanket. But blankety is more fun, has more syllables, and can go on like blankety-blankety-blank.)

Splastic. (Who can resist this word? It's far better than plastic. So we had splastic bags for ages.)

Hopper Grass. (When they found out it was grasshopper, I tried to tell them no, it was really hopper grass. But real words will prevail.)

Tuc-Tuc-peller. (Propeller. The hovercraft we took to go to England and back every summer had huge propellers on the back. They started up with a loud 'Tuc-tuc-tuc!' The boys called propellers tuc-tuc-pellers for ages. Well, I never wanted to correct them! lol)

N'guh-guh - this African sounding word was my daughter's word for 'bread', and she would only use it, completely ignoring any attempts to get her to say 'bread'. Bread was 'N'guh-guh.'

Ada and Ada - my daughter's names for her twin brothers. She called them Ada and Ada. The neighbor boy, Arnaud, was 'Arnaud', painstakingly sounded out, and she would call Carol 'Carol', and Marielle was 'Marielle', so she knew people had names. But for a long time, the twins were Ada and Ada.


Erin the Innocent said...

How about Crocagator (who can tell an aligator and a crocodile apart anyways?) and zagazine instead of magazine.

Anonymous said...

See - why correct that? It's too cute!!

That reminds me - the twins called my cousins Ryan and Jonathon 'Ryathon'


Oopsy Daisy said...

My youngest used to call his older brother "Dee Dee" because he couldn't say Andy. My daughter used to call coupons "Poo-cons" and spaghetti "bah-sketti". My oldest used to say as we were riding in the car, "Shit-bach", meaning sit back. He would also call fried chicken legs "chicken feet" when asked by the waitress what kids meal he would like.

Someone should write a childrens dictionary of the words kids say and what they actually mean. It would be a fun book to read. Sounds like a good project for you, let me know if you write a book like that so I can buy it!

Bernita said...

You're absolutely right, Sam.
And I'm with your daughter. I called water "namanah" they tell me; and my favourite sweater was my "oidle-oidle-ah."

Sam said...

Hi Daisy - I have too many projects already. LOL!
I forgot about bah-sketti! My kids called it that too. Thanks for reminding me!
Oh - and poo-cons are too cute!!

Bernita - oidle oidle ah is a wonderful name for a favorite sweater. And namanah and n'gung-gah are signs of original thinking, I'm sure.

Cowboys & Custard said...

Hello Sam
Thank you for your visit today..
My son was about two years old and had a wonderful lexicon of words.. mostly to do with food.
He called Noodles .. noogles and his first word was cake... he wanted to be polite and would ask for .. "more cake peas" and I would always reply Good boy.. so then he started to say.." More cake peas good boy".
How I miss those days of discovery.