Spelling Lesson

6 May

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.” Carl Jung

 

“V-A-L-E-T: VALET,” a young mother taught her little girl as they tottered up the pathway to the Tex-Mex restaurant: Now, that’s a word at the top of every kid’s vocabulary list. I chuckled as I jumped out of the car as watched the men in ruby red vests scurry to park it. I wondered how many other girls five years and younger age could spout the word “valet” in a sentence. How often does it show up in the average adult’s mouth?  

Then I wondered what words my parents deemed essential at that age? I’m the eldest of two. The first-born. AKA the guinea pigs. Did my newbie parents think teaching me words like “Exit” was a priority? 

How about exquisite?  

Or octagon?

Seems important to Sesame Street’s residents. But in the real world, specifically the UK, The Telegraph found that words like “cat,” “beer,” and “Hoover” huddled at the top of a child’s first vocabulary list.

Haha. I certainly can’t remember what my first words were. Probably simple things that were central to our lives. I remember absorbing vintage language from scriptures, because we were always at church: I could quote the Bible like a nursery rhyme. And, of course, traditional household items like milk, water, apple. What words would I first yearn to pass on my hypothetical little one?

Probably “n0.”

And “loud and soft.”

And supercalifragilisticexpialidocious:

Let’s just say we’re keeping the Oxford and Webster within reach.

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