Sweet Homonymy

A long time ago, not too long after he started talking pretty well, Calvin learned his first homonym.

It was accidental, really. One day, we read a story book that had a fuzzy little forest creature - a mole - in it. A couple days later, a friend gave him a book all about big machines and trucks in it. One of the big machines was one that burrowed huge deep holes for tunnels underground - a mole. And a couple days after that, Calvin was poking and messing with a little raised brown dot on my neck and asked me what it was. "A mole," I told him.

When he recapped all the moles he had learned about in the past few days with a big, if somewhat perplexed, smile on his face, I was surprised at how he had catalogued them already. I hadn't even noticed that we had told him three different things that were called by the same word.

Recently, he has discovered that there are words that sound alike but aren't spelled alike. It really irritates him because he's having a hard time organizing the rules for the English language in his mind. But he still gets a kick out of homonyms. At least once a day he comes to me with a new word that he says there are lots of different "kinds" of.

There are two kinds of bark: The bark a dog makes, and the bark on a tree. There are two kinds of chip: You can chip something that's made out of glass, and you can eat a potato chip. There are two kinds of park: You can park a car and you can play at the park.

The best one was today, when he told me there are three kinds of cool. This is what he told me:

There's the cool like, "That's a cool trick." And there's the cool like, "Ice keeps things cool." And then there's the cool like, "I'm cool."

Trust me, that is a whole different kind of cool.

1 comment:

S said...

"mom I can say "but" but I can't say "butt"? love it! I miss my sweet little boy.