Known Johnson

May 10, 2007

Semantics

Filed under: General — Tom @ 2:46 pm

Amanda, at just over 20 months old, is quickly grabbing onto words and using them, or at least her own versions of them, at a fairly quick rate lately. Of course, the big issue is whether we can understand the sounds coming out of her mouth or not. It’s one thing when she she says “dawyak” because we know that gets used interchangeably (for unknown reasons) with “dok” (which is “dog” because, apparently, “g” is hard to pronounce,) and in some cases things are known by their sounds, such as “cuck-cuck” for duck, or a combination of the two, as in the case of “ditties” (kitties) and “birlaks” (birds) who are usually accompanied by, respectively, “meow!” and “tweet Tweet TWEET!” But it’s another when she blurts out seemingly incomprehensible syllables of something that seems to mean something important to her – and then repeats it over and over, growing more upset and frustrated each time.

Take, for example, recent trips to pretty much anywhere that requires a shopping cart. We get Amanda out of the car, put her in the cart in the store and she immediately starts squawking “Flacker. Flacker!” And we’re confused. “What?” we both ask, and she responds with a very frustrated, near-cry “Flacker!” Further inquiries get us no further, only more, louder announcements of the mysterious “Flacker.” And as Amanda blurts out “Flacker,” I start listening further away, imagining what other people are hearing. Just think about it, dear Reader – imagine that word repeated, machine-gun like and loudly: flacker flacker flacker flacker flacker flacker! We both realized what it sounded like, too, and quickly set about solving the mystery.

We ran through a list of potential things she might want, each one wrong, each one greeted with an upset “Flacker!” until we reached the magic word: “Pacifier?” “Yessss!” slid happily out of her smiling mouth. It’s only then that we realized the flacker was out in the car.

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2 Comments »

  1. If you can figure out what “da-DOW” means, you’re a god! Abby’s been saying that one forever and we have no idea what it means.

    Hey, I took Abby to the run-through fountain at Desert Ridge tonight after dinner and it was a BLAST! Have you brought Amanda to one of those yet? I’m thinking I’ll take her with Marti on Saturday if you want to come join us.

    Comment by Lisa harris — May 10, 2007 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  2. That probably would have been fun. As it was, we had an incredibly busy weekend. One of these days we’ll definitely have to get Amanda up there to try that – I’m sure she’ll love it, since it does involve making a mess.

    Comment by Tom — May 14, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | Reply


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