Sep 21, 2006

Homonym...Shmomonym


Every other 'normal' mother I know would be thrilled to death that their precious 7 and 4 year olds were not only familiar with the term homonym but could actually be able to produce one if asked.

That's where I'm not normal. You see, I'm SICK of homonyms and homophones. However, my children (and even Chloe to a point) are OBSESSED with them. I'm not joking, every 2.5 minutes a new one is thrown at me. You'd think they were on this secret mission to uncover all homonyms/homophones in the English language in less than a year.

Their level of excitement about these anomalies of the English language are causing me to wonder if I'm being secretly taped for some pitiful reality show that is trying to unearth the idiosyncrasies of the English language.

If only that were true, then there would be some reason for our madness, but no, I have since come to discover that it is purely out of joy that my children lambast me with these parts of speech day and night.

Gavin truly has a strong grasp of this concept. Give him 5 minutes to come up with as many as he can and he could shoot out 10 of them - all grammatically correct and used in a sentence.

Then there's Bennett. Some days I think he really knows what he's talking about, then most days remind me that he just got lucky on the word he chose and he really has no clue. Here's how I know: (snipets of actual conversation to follow are from the best of my memory, however, my memory is on overload right now and could not possibly remember everyone of the infinite examples he has casually thrown out).

Bennett: "Rock Mom, like I see a rock and like, the rock is on the floor."
Bennett: "For Mom, like I am four and I look for that."
Bennett: "Beyell (how he pronounces bell) Mom, like I see a beyell and like, I have a beyell around my waist." (This was said as we were entering a certain food establishment with this word in its title.) Gavin is quick to jump upon this as a simple enunciation error and swiftly corrects Mr. Homonym Man by informing him that he is indeed wrong under no uncertain terms. I might have chosen a more gentle approach - but that's what brother's are for, I guess.
Bennett: "Look Mom, like look at that woodpecker and like, I you look pretty." (that one earned points for ingenuity).
Bennett: " Hey mom, like 'hey' like hey I want that or like, hey give that to me." This is being said as we are walking through the grocery store.

FINALLY I intervene and save us all from utter homonym exhaustion.

Mommy: "Very close, Buddy, but it's actually 'hay' as in the stuff horses eat and 'hey' come back here." Why am I doing this...am I actually trying to encourage more homophones? I'm walking a very fine line here. I definitely don't want to damage his developing physcy by constantly saying 'No, you're wrong!' - but I also don't want him to give up just cuz he didn't get it right. So I guess ultimately I am the responsible party keeping this endless cycle of homonyms going...this realization has just now occurred to me as I sit here typing away...Hey! Here and Hear - I thought of one! See, it's catchy isn't it?!

What I've learned from Bennett: NEVER stop trying. You will eventually get it right. You never know until you ask. It's all worth it in the end if you made them laugh!

What I've learned from Gavin: Don't stop learning until you get it right and then say it over and over and over again so that the repetitive process burns the information into your internal hard drive forever.

What I've learned from Chloe: Copying those around you who are older and wiser is an awesome way to learn.

And the most important lesson learned: THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY HOMONYMS/HOMOPHONES IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE! WHO WILL PUT AN END TO THIS MADNESS?!? Is there some national English language hotline I can call?
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