Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wotch Awt!

As my oldest learns to read and write, I am daily reminded of the complexity of the English language.  Ian has a remarkable ability to understand letters and sounds, and teases out words from the context of a sentence as much as the interplay of letters.  We've been told by his teacher that he's one of the best readers in his Kindergarten class.  He's reading some complicated stuff, but it's his writing that is most interesting to me now.  I'm daily reminded that there are just some things in English that you can't tease out - you have to memorize.  "Pizza" has no T's in it.  "Of" looks like it should be pronounced "Off", but is instead a very bizarre "Uv".  Enuf and fone and luv and thru are phonetic and even readable, but inaccurate.

When I took Spanish in high school and college, it was strange to me that words were assigned a gender, and that word suffixes would denote who you were talking to, and even the level of familiarity or respect you had for the person with whom you're conversing.  But supposedly (so I've heard), English is still harder to learn.

Case in point - Ian has a reversible sign on his bedroom door, which he made one day when he was in a particularly foul mood.  On one side it says - "Grumpy Mood Doo Not Dystrakd" (hover for translation), and on the other side it says "Happy Mood Fry To Cum En" (hover for translation).

Today, he spilled a whole cup of juice on the floor unbeknownst to his mother. He took care of the mess, and then fessed up to Beth. He had made a sign that said "Wotch Awt Slipry" (hover for translation). The picture is of a bald, frowny-faced little orange man, falling - with a large down arrow indicating the action sequence. What a remarkable kid he is.