Words Fitly Spoken

Our son had trouble with words when he younger. His speech was far behind that of his sisters when they were the same age. His first word was a sound effect: Zrooom- for truck. Before he said ‘mama,’ he could pretend to sword fight with a wrapping paper tube and say, “En guarde.” He said that perfectly because he wasn’t able to prounounce final consonant sounds and with ‘en guarde’ you aren’t supposed to pronounce the ‘d’.

Before he was two he would line up all his cars and trucks in order from largest
to smallest. He would leave the room to get more vehicles to add to the line, and we would shift one of the cars to a different place. He always knew. He would come back, start to add his new cars to the line, start, put his hands on his hips, sigh, and put the misplaced car back in its correct place in the line up. But if we asked him to tell us about his cars and trucks, he’d just grunt, gesture, and look frustrated.

He knew several signs and used them. He loved spicy food. He would take a bite of something spicy, fan his hands at his face to cool it off, say ‘Ha, haaa, haaa’ (without that final consonant sound, this was his version of ‘hot’) and then make the sign for ‘more.’ He could do all this, but speak as well as his sisters did when they were six months younger than he? Not.

We privately called him our cave child because of those grunts and gestures he would substitute for the words he was struggling to produce.

He’s now six years old. Recently I read to him and his youngest sister the story of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan from the Bible. In the text I read, I believe it said they were slain.

After I read, I have the children tell me back some portion of what I read. It was the First Year Girl’s turn, so she told me all about it, but when she got to the deaths she just said they’d been killed, and her brother objected to that.

“Not killed,” he said. “Slaughtered.”

FYG said she wanted to say killed, and BYG told her slaughtered sounded better, and they argued about it back and forth in the manner of siblings.

Then BYG threw his hands up in disgust and said, “Killed, slaughtered, whatever. They mean the same thing, but I like _SLAUGHTERED_ better. It sounds better.”

FYG told him no, it sounded gross, and he said, “Yes, that’s why I like it.”

Six years old and already our slow talker understands the power of the right word.

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Books Finished

I really enjoy summer vacation. My more prudent and worrisome side whispers on occasion, “you should have taken a summer course,” but I shove it aside and continue to live wildly. Wildly meaning I tell myself every other day that it’s fine not to be taking a summer course.

Today I finished reading three books. This is not as magnificent a feat as it first sounds. I was cooped up in a vehicle for several hours, I was experiencing a rare day where reading in the car did not make me carsick, and so I read…and listened. We finished listening to The Horse and His Boy on tape, read aloud by Alex Jennings. The Equuschick said that this does not count for reading a book. The Equuschick is wrong. If it is an abridged version, then you are certainly gypped or cheating. An unabridged version, however, gives you precisely what the author wrote. And so it counts. It is true that it’s much harder to take notes on books on tape, which is why it is best to limit yourself to a rollicking good story in the audio format. And The Horse and His Boy certainly falls under that category. C. S. Lewis is so very funny and lighthearted, but still meaty. I always gain a new appreciation for his books during a re-read.

I also beat my deadline of May 15 for finishing A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Someone told me when I was about halfway done reading it that it was one of his serious novels. That surprised me. Then. Now I know why they said what they did. What a depressing ending to a book, but also one that troubles me. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t yet read it, but certain parts of its climax and conclusion seemed hastily thrown together. I would still recommend it, however, as it really has brilliant literary value and an end that would leave even the hardhearted with a lump in their throat.

Last, but not least, I finished reading Torn Thread by Anne Isaacs. It is the story of Isaacs’ mother-in-law, a wonderful woman who survived the holocaust as a teenager and, with her courage and perseverance, helped protect and strengthen her weaker sister. Since it’s a Scholastic book it’s not as brutal as some of the other WWII novels, but still not candy-coated.

Which Fat Novel should I read first? Our Mutual Friend or Daniel Deronda?

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Just Say No

Our dear hosts have a new and precious baby. All babies are precious, but since both mother and baby nearly died in the delivery process, the preciousness of this little darling is more immediately on our hearts and minds.

Baby’s Mama said something this morning about being a little less willing to ‘share’ this baby. She said that people would ask to hold the baby, and she really wanted to be able to say no, but was afraid she wouldn’t be able to. “It’s just so hard to say no,” she said, and I agreed.

Not so her six year old, who seemed astonished. “I say no five times a day” she said. “Like this, No, no, no, no, no.”

Perhaps the Mama should put the six year old in charge of saying all the no’s that need saying.=)

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Well, This Is a Surprise


CBS distorts the news. Again. Or should that be still?

This is from yesterday, but it’s a story that should get extensive blog coverage because everybody oughta know…

See Powerline and Lucianne for more.

The bare bones summary is that Gloria Borger interviewed Ken Starr, and CBS aired a portion of that interview. In that segment, Starr apparently said bad things about the Republicans for trying to end the filibuster.
Except that the bad things he said were not about the Republicans ending the judicial filibuster, but, according to Starr, were

“specifically addressed to the practice of invoking judicial philosophy as a grounds for voting against a qualified nominee of integrity and experience. I said in sharp language that that practice was wrong. I contrasted the current practice and that employed viciously against your father with what occurred during Ruth Ginsburg’s nomination process as numerous Republicans voted, rightly, to confirm a former ACLU staff worker. They disagreed with her positions as a lawyer but they voted — again rightly — to confirm her.”

Rush Limbaugh (yes, yes, I know) says,

“From now on whenever CBS does anything under the guise of news, that purports to shift the discussion on an ideological basis they are not to be trusted. There is a reason nobody is watching the CBS Evening News anymore, and it’s not who anchors it. It’s who’s producing this garbage and who’s putting this garbage together. Maybe in part the anchors here and there, but the bottom line is: CBS News cannot be trusted, because CBS News is not news. It’s CBS commentary and editorializing under the guise of news.”

I think he has a point.

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This Sounds Promising

Atty General Spitzer is about to go after spyware.

Computer repair people say that spyware accounts for about half of the trouble they see. One study finds that 80 percent of private computers are infected. Spyware is noxious. It slows down your computer, pops up ads nobody wants to see, tracks your websearching, spies on you using your equipment and internet connection against you. It’s ugly.

“Those who engage in these abuses are hard to track down,” Spitzer said. “An operation can be terminated and another literally pops up overnight. Hopefully, technology will provide a comprehensive solution at some point but until that time, there needs to be a cop in cyberspace who will stop the most egregious abuses.”

Spitzer sees himself as the police.

While Congress and about half the states — including New York — debate legislation to clamp down on spyware, Spitzer is taking business fraud and consumer protection investigation into the 21st century:

His people set up three personal computers up in a storeroom in Spitzer’s Manhattan office. For months, investigators visited the freebie-giveaway websites likely to carry adware and spyware. Investigator Vanessa Ip regularly analyzed the hard drive to detect any unwanted downloads.

“The most important thing was to try to mimic a typical consumer’s experience,” Ip said.

Kenneth Dreifach, chief of Spitzer’s Internet Bureau, said the office is “limited only by the bounds of creativity and diligence of our investigators — which is limitless.”

We wish him a grand success.

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