Don't Call Me a Writer: Fun With Words
Don't Call Me a Horse - I'm a Unicorn
I was told the other day that it’s scary for me to call myself a writer when I trivialize the meaning of words. I won’t point fingers and I won’t name names because I don’t care to revisit the conversation OR to make a big deal out of it. And for those of you who may have seen that part of the conversation - please know that I didn’t take offense to the intended insult. I say intended because the statement was meant to insult me but it was a failure on the other person’s part. You see, I have never, ever, ever, ever referred to myself as a writer. No – I would never be so presumptuous. I think just anyone can sit down at a computer or with a notebook and “be” a writer. No, I like to think I am more of a silent speaker. Yes, that’s exactly what I am. I speak but there are no sounds. The only way to communicate the silent thoughts is to get them down in words for other people to read – or not read as it may sometimes be. Another reason the intended insult was a failure is because I do indeed have fun with words; I change their meanings, their pronunciations and their spellings all the time. I’m a nerd and that is my idea of fun.
When I was younger I babysat – A LOT. I remember one specific situation where a little girl, about 4, was asking for something out of the fridge. She just kept pointing at the fridge and saying mork, mork, mork. I thought she was trying to say ‘more’ so I asked what she would like more of . Again I was met with cries for mork mork mork. If I had been a mom already I would’ve known to open the fridge and have the kid point to what she wanted. But since I was only a young teenager I kept trying to understand what the poor, sweet child was saying. I opened the fridge door and touched the juice. She said no. I touched the water. She said no. I touched the fruit. She said no. I touched the cheese. She said no. I touched the milk and she got very excited. Ok, note to self. Mork is milk. Later that evening the mom came home and asked how the last few hours had gone. I told her everything was perfect once I figured out what mork was! The mom just laughed and laughed and laughed. It turned out the mom and dad thought it would be interesting to change the names of common items when they taught their children vocabulary words. They wanted to see how it turned out in the long run. Now THAT was fun.
My children and I have come up with our own words for common items – but not because I changed the names on purpose. The new words were cute and stuck like glue. Heck, to this day I still joke and call milk mork. Below is a list of silly words my family uses that we all understand and don’t even give a second thought to.
Milk = gook
Spoon = poon
Spider = pider
Dog Hotel – Dog Huddle (don’t ask)
Dining Room = diamond room
Great toe = thumb toe
Home Depot = Homo Depot (it was an accident and stuck)
It isn’t uncommon in my house to hear someone say “Get the gook and place it on the table in the diamond room – OH CRAP I just stubbed my thumb toe!”
So to the person who said it is scary that I call myself a writer yet I trivialize words I say “Here’s a poon, you can ride it to the Dog Huddle and buy some gook!”