Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Mystery of Language Acquisition

This is a dialogue I had with my son this afternoon:

Me: Why is this backpack in the middle of the floor?

Him: (Unconcerned) I was wearing it earlier.

Me: Graham, do I want this lying here in the middle of the floor? Do I?


Me: Graham!

Him: What?

Me: How about answering me?

Him: (shrugging) I thought it was a rhetorical question.

Now I must mention that my son is eight, and I had no idea he knew the word "rhetorical." :)

Language acquisition is something we've long wondered about; both of our boys were early talkers and mimicked all sorts of words they heard in conversation. I suppose this helped them to start building vocabulary way back when.

We only hope that they can parlay their language skills into enjoyable and lucrative careers that will pay for Jeff's and my stay in the mental hospital.


Anonymous said...

Ah Julia! My grandson is also eight and comes up with the most surprising words sometimes. Parents & teachers must be doing something right! He's not nearly the avid reader his older brother is, so maybe TV has had some good influence as well.

Julia Buckley said...

You're right, Jody! I think TV gets too much criticism, and to be honest we watch it all the time. :)