Monday, November 16, 2009

There Are Not Words

Recently my cousin, mother to an almost three year old boy, revealed to me that on choice occasions Liam likes to let fly with a hearty "God Damnit", sending her racing for cover, hiding her laughter. She can pinpoint the exact exposure as both she and her husband have done a fine job of editing in their word choices since Liam was born. Not so at my house. Jack seems to live by the "Do as I say, not as I do" mantra, which opened the door to at least a week, if not a few days more, of Mary marching down the hall to time out, shouting "Dammit, well DAMMIT" the entire way. Points for using the word correctly I suppose, and for adding some much needed levity to time out situations, but we were all pleased when her personal word exploration days came to a close.

To be fair, a well placed word can really serve you well, and to that, I find that omitting, rather than replacing works best for me. There are no "Jimminy Crickets" served at my house, words used correctly, but not within ear shot of five year old ears, are perfectly acceptable, however, like all good things, saturation leads to ineffectiveness.

Which in no way explains Kate's recent exclamation as she shed her coat after a long day spent at kindergarten, "I simply LOVE this freakin' coat".

We were left speechless.

A little William Safire'esque note: this required me to do some research on the correct spelling of a few words. Dammit, not damnit, is correct when using the word alone however, when prefacing it with God, it becomes damnit, a variation of damn it. Why dammit is not also based on that variation, I have no idea.

1 comment:

Rob Marvin MD said...

Little sponges -- that is what they are.

I remember well, Dad talking with a gaggle of family members and priests from the Jesuit school, referring to some politico as a, "sorry SOB."

The problem was that Blake was nearby; at the mere mention of the acronym, Blake shouted the hidden meaning behind those three letters -- in case the message was lost to anyone.

To which, Dad nervously laughed and announced his need to take the boy home -- then to enjoy a G&T.

Blake made sure they understood that, too.

Little sponges.


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