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Call 911 coz we have a grammar emergency

Submitted by on Thursday, 13 January 2011 No Comment

“I am heavier than him uh huh.”

“That is shinier than that yep it is.”

“I am happier than him OK right.”

Overlook the confusion about usage of he/him. I’ll work on that one later. Right now, I’d be thrilled if Big Guy would write real sentences using real words.

We’ve danced this tango before, back in first grade when I couldn’t convince him that “coz” isn’t a word. He eventually conceded, and now he can even spell “because.”

The new problem is the  “7-Up sentences” required in second grade. Big Guy’s tried everything he can to get out of writing them, though he stopped short of claiming he can’t  do it because his mom doesn’t allow him to have much soda.

Just before Christmas he went through a rapper phase, ending sentences in “hey yo” to try to pad out the length to the required seven words. “Hey yo?” I asked, an eyebrow arching. “Hey yo? Where did you learn that?”

I don’t need to ask where he picked up his new magic sentence stretchers. Yep, I’ll admit it. Sometimes I’ll even write them, OK?

Growing up as I did, learning Appalachian English – a friend contends that it should be listed as a separate language on Facebook – I’ve been careful to not foist my verbal shortcomings on my kids. I’m happy to report that they use the subjunctive mood correctly (if/were) and they know that it’s “have run,” not “have ran.” They’ve also learned that “pen” and “pin” don’t sound the same, and that “going” ends in “g,” except when it’s pronounced “gonna.”

While I was focusing on the high end, though, low-end nonwords crept in. Uh-huh. I say them once in a while. And Big Guy writes them regularly.

Part of it’s a jab at me – he knows I’m a writer, so he’s determined to show how unimportant writing is. Part of it’s just his usual rush through homework to get to the next fun thing. The rest, though, is because I can’t prove to him beyond a reasonable doubt that I’m write. Er, right.

A math equation? Two plus two equals four. It always has, and it always will. If Big Guy tries to argue, I can pull candy out of the cabinet and prove it.

Writing? If it’s a word that he hears then, by golly, he can use it in his assignments. “Mrs. W says so.”

After two tries at his homework last night, I gave up and told him to turn it in “yups” and all. I know what Mrs. W will say about that – it’ll be a big fat F.

As for me, George Carlin’s magnificent seven aren’t the only words banned  from now on when the guys are around. So are “yup,” “uh-huh” and “yep.”

Nope. I’m not gonna say them anymore.

Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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