The Funny Things They Say

Enjoying the turn of phrase

Language Explosion Header

One of the things that Nomi and I started doing a few years ago was record the funny things that Squeaker and Muffin would say. It began when we started writing down their first words; eventually, that became pointless as their vocabulary developed quite nicely. But then we started to note the kinds of sentences that they were putting together.

Nomi’s background is in linguistics, and so it is fascinating for her to note the “errors” the kids have used in speaking English that actually make sense if you didn’t have irregularities in language. Here’s a simple example: our kids would sometimes say that they “goed” someplace, where we would say they “went” someplace. They knew the logical way to construct the past tense and did it correctly, not knowing that “to go” is an irregular verb in English.

But of course, there are the funny things they say that are just unclassifiable. Here are a few things they have said this year for your amusement. (If people like this enough, maybe we’ll make it a regular feature.)

***

Squeaker: “It got dirty because someone spilled dirt on it. You know who got it dirty? Someone who is not my sister or someone who is my sister.”

***

Muffin: “Look what I made!”

Michael: “What is it?”

Muffin (puzzled): “Someone with one foot…and a weird head.”

***

Squeaker: “You made her sad. Sadder than a chicken if you ate it.”

***

Muffin: “Can you get me more My Little Pony stuff? I want the house to be filled with My Little Pony. I wish everything was made of My Little Pony.”

***

Squeaker: “I had a case of the sniffles. Now I have a case of the sneezings.”

***

Muffin: “There should be a Superman story about Superman saving a duck that is going to be shooted by a hunter.”

***

Nomi: “You had a busy day!”

Squeaker: “Yes! Busier than a rocket ship!”

***

Muffin: “Keep reading! Kids like reading, not waiting!”

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Squeaker: “Thank you for all the fish sticks in the world! Come on, fish sticks! Get up and wibble your feet! Wibble wibble!”

***

Muffin: “I don’t know what attitude is, and don’t tell me what it is.”

***

Finally, I must admit that the girls have taken note that we also take notes:

Michael: “This game says it’s for age seven. They’re not going to understand it. I don’t understand it.”

Squeaker: “That’s because you’re not seven!”

Muffin: “Write that down!”

This week’s column is written by Michael A. Burstein.

About this column: The adventures of two Brookline parents and their twin daughters, Muffin and Squeaker. Copyright 2014 by Michael and Nomi Burstein.

About Michael A. Burstein

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