Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lighten up in the gloom of winter with humour!

I've never been one for Christmas in July, perhaps that's because once a year is more than enough!  I understand that it gives us Australians (and others who share the southern summer) a chance to eat rich Christmas foods developed to be eaten in a cold climate rather than under a sweltering summer sun and 40°C in the shade, but for all the decorations, it just isn't Christmas.  But in mid-winter we do need cheering up, even though we don't have to endure heavy snow and short daylight hours, so I thought this week I'd have a bit of fun.

I recently asked on Facebook for words that children mis-pronounce or the extraordinary names they give to everyday objects.  We all have examples of these and other sayings, from our own and our children's childhoods.  Technically these are known as malapropisms.  A couple of examples I remember are 'guessing gown' which is much more exciting than dressing gown and one that I think many children have said 'belly jeans' for 'jelly beans.'  I think technically the last one is a spoonerism but who really worries about details like that.  I'm very fond of those black and white peppermint lollies called bumhugs, oops, sorry, humbugs!  I've always liked the little girl encountering hundreds and thousands (non-pareils) for the first time who called them crunchy dots.  And there was the little chap with an otherwise extensive vocabulary, who was very fond of 'mos' (olives), though they were also called 'o-leaves' by my granddaughter.

 There is also a word for misheard/repeated song lyrics...mondegreens, with many web pages dedicated to recording them.  Most of us have heard various versions of nursery rhymes, ("Heads, shoulders, sneeze and toes", "One for the little boy who lives down the drain")

There are also the innocent questions and remarks that young children make that are totally uncensored by conventions of being polite. I remember one of my granddaughters politely asking my friend  " Why are you so fat?", or her very puzzled response to my  'see you later, alligator" "Gran, I'm not an alligator."

Apart from those dreaded questions about where did I come from, there are also those questions that make you wonder what goes on in the mind of a child. "Look at my elbows.  Are my elbows growing?", or on seeing a picture of a little baby, "Does everyone start like that?"

I think it is a lovely idea to record these sayings for the children.  Just open a page for each child on on your computer and record them as they occur.  The children love reading them in later years, and so do their parents and grandparent who relive those innocent times.

What stories can you share of children and their sayings that will help warm up our winter?  Do add them as comments so we can all share.

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