"Look, mom, those clothes are in a confinement shop," my four-year-old said. My mom and I laughed. To be sure, the clothes were confined to the store, but the word my child was looking for was "consignment."
Close. Maybe even correct to an extent. But, nevertheless, the wrong word. In my book "Gathering, Homespun Essays from Beech Tree Lane," I have among the collection of essays one entitled "Do we speak the same English?", where I offer a few other times my children made me stop and think through the words that had just entered time and space.
Inside my head, the words make sense. Outside my head, once spoken, not so much. Double meanings abound. We have to be careful to make sure the words we speak are the ones we really want to say! The beginning of my essay reads "It’s no secret. I’m always listening to folks. Older people don’t care what people think of what they say and younger ones don’t know enough to care what people think.
Those of us stuck in the middle of old and young, however, are required by statutes and ordinances to watch what we say, how we say it and when we say it. We also have to work to ensure that what we’re saying is what is heard and then, we hope, understood.
Warning: Speaking something to someone may not lead to that someone understanding that something. Our words can confuse.Once upon a time my oldest daughter, a second grader, and my youngest, a first grader, were conversing about... go ahead, finish reading it in the book.
Have a great weekend filled with reading wonderful words!