Thursday, November 26, 2009


Children have interesting ways of expressing themselves, with their interesting phrases, words, and pronunciations. For example, why do "Wal-Mart" and "lawnmower" sound the same coming from a child's mouth?

My two oldest children have a fun word in their arsenal: butcept. This is a portmanteau of "but" and "except." While they are remarkably advanced in their communication skills (imho), this is one word that I never correct them on because I think it is fantabulous (a portmanteau of "fantastic" and "fabulous," of course).

Speaking of their speaking skills, they are the only little ones I think I've ever seen who seem to understand the proper uses of lay and lie (refresher? click here). I'm certain that one day I'll hear a report that they corrected a teacher at school for their improper use ("Would you like to lay down?" the teacher may ask; "I think you mean 'lie down'!"). This, by the way, is one of those grammar things you learn and later wish you had never learned because of its almost universal butchery... especially if you're part of the self-appointed grammar police.

Interesting fact: there's a big difference between the words "repository" (definition) and "suppository" (definition). In working on my dissertation proposal, I was writing about an online suppository for the storage and dissemination of data, and something just didn't feel right... As I thought on it, I was reminded of the line from The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means."

There are many other examples I would love to touch on, butcept it's time to go.

1 thought:

michele said...

My daughter also used the word butcept and I never corrected her because I thought it was such a clever little word. She is 7 now and has stopped using it, I'm not sure when that happened, but it makes me kind of sad.