Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A foolish consistency

I like to be cranky.

I wrote this on my facebook wall today:
“Cranky thoughts: I don't have a puppy - I have a dog. I don't have kitties - I have cats. People don't have kids - they have children.”

This did not come out of thin air. My Dad hated the word “kids” as it applied to children.

He was clear. “Goats have kids”, he would say, “but people have children”.

Dad was cranky about speech. He would sometimes pretend to trip, and then explain:- “I tripped over the consonant you dropped” (e.g. a “t” or a “d” at the end of a word.)

I was raised in the same school as Dad. It was the school which said “take care of the consonants and the vowels will take care of themselves”.

But “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of tiny minds”. Dad was not foolish, nor consistent. He persisted in pronouncing the “aitches” at the beginning of words such as “honour”, or “honest”.

I am happy to have inherited my father’s crankiness and inconsistency!

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