Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Joy of Children

I am totally in love with small children. I could live off of them! So I thought I would share some of the small things that have brightened my days because of children.

I personally love playing hide and seek with one particular five year old girl who will tell me to shut my eyes. She then crawls under the couch and says "Miss Amanda, come find me! I'm under the couch!" And of course I must go around the room looking in trashcans and under pencils to make her giggle. It's amusing to me how she always tells me exactly where she is, but she never realizes that she's given away her hiding place.

I once admired the boots of a three year old boy and asked him where he got them. He says, "I don't remember. I've had them for fifty years." So I ask him how old he is. "Three." "And you've had your boots for fifty years?" "Yes." Your logic astounds me, young man.

I watched a four year old boy ask a four year old girl on a date. She said "Absolutely." I called the boy over and asked him what he was going to do on this date and he said "Have conversations." and then he looks at me and says in an irritated voice, "And you are interrupting my date." Well excuse me.

I was playing freeze-tag with a five year old girl and she's says to me "We're playing Chinese freeze-tag." "How is Chinese freeze-tag different than regular?" "It's Chinese." Of course. Silly me.

I was playing house with two five year old girls and we owned a horse. Now this particular horse was very sick and so one of the girls decided to call the doctor. So she puts her imaginary phone to her ear and says, "Doctor? We need you quick. You're on Campus Drive? Then you'll be here in twenty minutes." Children pick up everything we say you know.

A friend and I were watching a group of children together. One little girl was talking about her birthday cake and so my friend asked if she could have some. The little girl replied sadly, "It's all don." My friend pretended to cry over this fact and a little boy, putting his hands on his hips, says "Big people don't cry." Well that's news to me.

Children are so trusting and open and ready to be friends with anyone it amazes me. I couldn't live without my little people. When they crawl into your lap and put their small hands in yours as you walk somewhere together. The way they beg you to read with them. Their tiny voices and adorable laughter. It all makes my heart so happy.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baffled by the English Language

I've been thinking lately about how fascinating and strange the English language is. For some reason I always find myself in the midst of conversations and discussions about words. My friends come to me with questions because they have somehow gotten it into their heads that I am an expert. The truth is something else entirely. I make it up. Or I make an educated guess to answer their questions. But seriously, they will come to me with one problem or another that they have found with words and I will answer in a know it all voice as I make it up. I am as clueless as they are when it comes to some words.
 Today I was wondering why "ax" is sometimes spelled with an "e". Is it just personal preference or is one spelling more correct than the other? My NIV Bible uses "ax" and my ESV and NASB Bibles use "axe". You would think that since more versions use axe with an "e" that it would be the correct way to spell axe. But ax without an "e" is listed first in my Dictionary. I usually write it without the "e" but other times I use an "e". Nothing but the mood I am in decides which it will be.
 I was reading a book with some friends and we came across the word "hoofs". I say hooves, not hoofs. My friends laughed at that. But it is just as correct.
Why is it that the plural for leaf is leaves but the plural for dwarf is dwarfs? Both dwarfs and dwarves are listed in my Dictionary as acceptable. So which am I supposed to use? J. R.R. Tolkien used the term dwarves in his Lord of The Rings Books because he felt it was more correct, but C.S. Lewis used dwarfs in his books about Narnia. How do I choose when the scholars can't agree?
Why is it the pique means to feel irritated but also means to stimulate one's interest? How are those the same thing? They aren't!
Goose. Geese. Moose. Why not Meese? Why are deer and sheep and moose singular and plural? Were we bored of making new words for plurality?
We have seals to close things and hold things together and we have seals to watch and admire at the ocean beach.
I haven't even begun to scratch the surface yet of all the absurdities of the English language. How does one wade through the murky waters of such a language? Do you just dog paddle or back stroke as you see fit? Each to his own? Every man doing what seems right in his own eyes? Now that I have raised the question I should offer an answer. Give a solution. Unfortunately, I am asking this question because I do not have an answer. I am often confused and baffled as to what words I should use because sometimes it just doesn't make sense.