By Sandy Welch Thompson
I wrote this last year around the start of school. I thought it was most appropriate to post at this time, this year as well. It’s just a gentle reminder that school is right around the corner and we could all learn a little more.
Although I would never proclaim to be as smart as a teacher, I thought with school beginning, I could perhaps steer some of the parents in the right direction for the hope of a future generation.
Parents, the sad truth is…are you ready? We are not that smart. There, I said it. Now I can own it like we all should. I know that’s not what any of us want to hear, but it’s the truth. If we were as smart as we think we are, we would have paid attention in school when we were taught to spell and speak those lovely vocabulary words correctly.
Over time we have learned to destroy our language, but expect our kids to embrace it in class. I have fallen victim just like so many others. We have failed ladies and gentlemen and we must rise above it. Oh sure, we all like to come off really smart when we talk, but the truth is, we need to go back to class too. Over the years, we have learned to accept the annoying way people mispronounce stuff. We’ve done it ourselves. Now we’ve handed this down as a terrible legacy to our children and I want to end this cycle of madness right now.
What are these wretched morsels of wickedness? Well, they are simple little words that we can fix with just this one Path piece.
Let’s get started. Grab your Big Chief tablet and your fat crayons. We are one the way-back train for this lesson. And let’s face it, who didn’t love their Big Chief tablet and fat crayon? I wish I had them for my desk at work right now. With those tools and the Electric Company show (anyone remember the shadows speaking to each other?) sounding things out for me every afternoon when I got home, I knew I had this language thing whooped!With those and an actual cigar box for my school desk, I was unstoppable.
Okay, the first one we are going to revisit is the word REALTOR. Even folks in their own industry say it incorrectly. The word is realtor, not real-a-tor. Does anyone see an “A” in the middle of that word? There isn’t one, therefore do not put one in. You just made it harder than it needs to be. The word is real and then tor.
Next please.
The same goes for JEWELRY. It’s not jull-erry. Please fix this. I grate my teeth every time I hear it on a commercial for jewelry stores no less!
How about NUCLEAR. This one is destroyed all the time in the news also. Nuke-U-Ler is not correct. Grade? F.
These are the little things that I can live with no longer. Let’s go for a bigger fish.
Anyone ever hear the word, irregardless? It does not and should not exist. If you are “ir” regarding something, you do not pass go. You automatically need to visit grade school again. It’s wrong, regardless of what you think.
Same goes for the word, “anyways”. Please don’t put the S there. I’m asking nicely.
Now you might think I’m a little arrogant because I am bringing these to your attention. I’m not. I’m giving you this heads up because in about 9 weeks, we are all going to sit down with our kids’ teachers to visit about their progress. If we ‘go usin’ any of those words above, these teachers may figure out really quickly that we have no bluff factor. Ya gotta sound at least halfway intelligent to your kiddo’s teacher, right? I’m just trying to help the situation before it gets out of control.
On the other hand, please do not ask me anything about math. In fact, if you ask me any math question whatsoever, you will see how badly I need to go back to school. I just happen to know some words. Words don’t have integers, equations, equal signs or any of that other stuff. The way I figure it, I can only school you on some words. Conversely, you guys can school me on some math. Trust me when I say you have the harder job. Just remember, four out of three people have a hard time with math. Note: Yes, that is a joke, but it took me reading it like 10 times to realize it.
There are many other things in the world that bother me like pronunciation. The use of some terms bug the heck out of me too. How about the term comfort food. Really? When I think of what folks call comfort food, I think of French fries, ice cream sundaes, anything that is considered junk. I am a huge fan, and why not? They say this stuff is going to comfort me.
Yet, within a week after I have eaten these very items proclaimed to enhance my contentment, I can’t fit into my clothes. Trust me when I say there is absolutely nothing comfortable about jeans that won’t button. There is nothing comfy about shoving myself into a t-shirt with the arms feeling more like a girdle than a sleeve. Even my glasses feel tighter after eating a bunch of this so-called ‘comfort’ food. It’s a lie. Comfort food? Um, no I think not. It’s more like devil’s food.
Then there are words like resign. Does that mean to quit or do it again? See my dilemma? It’s all so confusing.
How about when someone says, “I’ll wait on you”. Does that mean you are bringing me a drink or pulling the car around? I get so lost.
And just who in the world came up with calling school subjects the “3 Rs”. Excuse me Jethro. We were doomed from the git-go. There are no 3Rs! Someone jacked up the very essence of our learning years ago! There’s an R, a W and an A. It’s not even a good acronym! So when your kids look at you like you are crazy and ask you what the 3Rs are…don’t tell them AT ALL. Stop the lunacy right here and now.
You guys work on that stuff. In the meantime, I am going to go find me some fat crayons, go to the lieberry to try and figure out how the heck we wound up with a silent D in the word Wednesday. It should keep me busy for a few more years.