Tuesday, 8 October 2013

What's in a word?

My name is Kirsty and I love words. All of them. Everything about language fascinates me; how we learn to speak and write, how our brain makes associations and applies grammatical rules to form new sentences, how words can be used to evoke all kinds of emotions from anger to joy. Of course, while the right selection of words can have consequences ranging from the hilarious to the catastrophic, the wrong words can be just as effective..

The Daughter has always been articulate and frequently - although not always intentionally - funny. It's the things that she gets wrong that make us laugh the loudest and hardest, and that makes her the most furious! From her weather-orientated bloopers - "Look outside! It's shittering it down!", to her culinary blunders - "This bubonic sauce (balsamic vinegar salad dressing) is actually quite nice", her little funnies have earned the name 'Nennyisms', which have become all the more poignant since she learned the written form. Since then, her quaint little turns of phrase have taken on a whole new dimension, as she writes letters to her friends, and leaves us little notes...

Boyface has started to follow in his sisters footsteps, although it's the pronunciation of words he struggles more with. He would gleefully shout about the "church cock (clock) and "fags (flags..I hope) on the park". I'm sure I've given my parents the same sort of laughs over the years though; they never let me forget about the time we were driving through a place I called Birminghamshire. And I do remember being very literal in my pronunciation of words when I was younger. I pronounced Penelope as 'Penner-low-pee' and Parade as 'Parradee'. But despite my own somewhat shaky introduction to the English language, I am now a fully paid up degree holder who loves to read and write. And so the next time The Daughter is playing with a pair of Lego Ninja Turtles nunchucks and says "I know what to do with these gymnackers!", after I've finished wetting myself laughing I will tell her she has a bright future ahead. And that if she ever finds herself in Birminghamshire, she should look out for the church cocks and the fags on the park..

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