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Funkbeds and Piggy Hampsters

September 22nd, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized

Presuming most DadWagon readers have dabbled in procreation themselves, I am not going to try to impress you with stories of my kid’s cuteness. Your kids are cuter, I know.

So I will try to present the adorable stream of neologisms that my 4-year-old has been unloosing on the English language as a linguistic phenomenon only. For her, some of the new words are simply mistakes, some are intentional puns. But they all expose a bit of the mechanics of the 4-year-old brain, which are impressive.

I always feel when I’m writing that words have become, in my mushed and drug-punctured mind, somewhat sticky. Certain words stick to each other in predictable ways. This is how cliche happens. One of the biggest challenges of writing is getting words to lay down on the page in surprising juxtapositions. That, it turns out, is a preschooler’s strength.

So in Dalia’s mind, a guinea pig is a “piggy hamster”, and though she’d really love a bunkbed, when we play music in the bedroom, at least she has a “funk bed”. Also musical are Rock-ie Talkies that people can talk or sing through. And so on… you no doubt have your own better examples. It’s sort of a universal word-flexibility.

This is why I’m not so impressed with the reciting 3-year-old. Who needs adult diction, when the kids do it so much better?


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