Friday, July 8, 2011

Words Are Fun

Life has been quite busy for us the past few months. It seems like once summer started, it's been go, go, go for us, almost non-stop!
I will shortly be putting up pictures and telling the stories of the past few weeks, but for today, I need to tell you what's on my mind.

While I was growing up, and even to this very day, my parents instilled in me the desire to use words correctly and enthusiastically. Over the years, I have had many people look at me a little cross-eyed because what came out of my mouth was often more mature than my years.

I love words. I love using words... I love saying unusual or even archaic words. I like using certain words frequently just because of how they sound when I say them.

Because I read so much as a child, teenager and young adult, there were words that I had only ever read and never heard anyone say, so I never knew how to pronounce them. For a long time, I thought the word faux was pronounced fox. You can imagine my confusion when I read the words faux fur and then years later heard someone say what I thought was "foe fur."

Most of these mistakes and confusions are out of the way now, but I still love words.

I want my children to love words too.

So I have been teaching them words that I find supremely fun.

When Audrey was little and just learning how to talk, we thought up the longest words we could while driving around town and asked her to say them. Audrey's early vocabulary included: deciduous, superfluous, ubiquitous, disjunct and, my personal favorite, cloaca.

After a while, she didn't want to perform for us anymore, and I had to be content with teaching her useful words that, while advanced for her age, weren't nearly as fun to say.

So, you can imagine the sublime joy that entered my heart when I recently discovered that Henry has now entered that tender age when he will repeat everything we ask him to.

We fell back on the old vocabulary just for old times sake. However, today I was hit by a fit of mischievous humor and decided to twist the old game a little.

The phrases we taught Henry (and Audrey) today:

Don't touch my uvula!

Don't touch my phalanges!

Don't touch my philtrum! (This was Grammy's contribution.)

Don't touch my coccyx!

Don't touch my cloaca! (I couldn't help myself with this one...)

I am anxiously awaiting the moment when Henry will let one of these phrases fly in the middle of church or a restaurant... or a museum... or the store. I am sure most people will wonder what the heck we are doing to our child to make him say that.

On a less disturbing note, we taught Audrey about nocturnal and diurnal today. She correctly deduced from our explanation that humans (generally speaking) are diurnal. Yay!

So, here's to words! And all of us Word Nerds out there!


Shydandelion said...

Ha ha ha! I remember playing a game of scrabble with you years ago, and I put "uvula" on the board, and you were shocked, until you realized what it was.

Good for you for giving your kids good, hardly-used words. That's how it should be. :)

Trillium said...

My favorite sounding word is "aujourd'hui" [oh-zhor-dwee]--it's fun to say. It means today in French. I get to say it multipe times every day while doing French Canadian family history. :)

Rebecca said...

Our kids have a pretty good vocabulary. The funny part is when we are having conversations in public. Those who overhear our conversations tend to stop what they are doing and just stare.

We have one child that uses words incorrectly all the time. It drives me crazy. Victor and I are constantly asking him if he really meant what he said or if he knew the real use of a word.

Rebecca said...

oh! I loved teaching Audrey how to say "Bite Me." That was funny.


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