03 January 2008

Grammar Shmammar

Me: "Here Grace, wrap up the baby in the blankie so she will be snuggly warm."

Grace: "ahsowidegud"

When I first arrived as a missionary in Hawaii, I had graduated with a bachelors degree in English several weeks before. The difference between common usage in the upper division English classes and the normal Hawaiian people was so great that I acquired a stuttering problem for several weeks because my brain wanted to speak Englishmajorese, but pidgin-so-people-would-understandese at the same time. I wasn't so much a normal stutterer as one who took too many overly dramatic pauses and mixed up the order of my sentences.

Then I moved home to Southern Utah, where my pidgin accent quickly melted away into the Southern Utah drawl which recently caused me to have a bad dream. I was watching myself as a little girl speak in Southern Utah accent. My adult mind was trying to figure out how to put a stop to this horrifying problem. Luckily, I eventually woke up.

Not so luckily, I woke up to the reality that even my SUD (Southern Utah Drawl) has deteriorated into SUDSC (Southern Utah Drawl Small Childese). The above example is only one of many ways in which I am totally (involuntarily) disregarding Dr. Don Norton's sound advice to "Teach your children good grammar by good example."

However, I have noticed that since starting my blog, my brain does occasionally throw in a word that uses more than two syllables to my every day speech. This phenomenon proves to me that, contrary to popular self-depreciating blogger lore, blogging is not a complete waste of time. Just because the 3+ syllable words are in the incorrect location in the sentence does not mean that I am not impressed with myself for using them. If we were Japanese, it would be a non-issue!


Dansie Family said...

i am with you on the SUD. It frightens me terribly when i hear myself slipping into it. Worse is when i hear my kids with it. the joys of southern utah. when i read my blog or hear myself talk, i can't believe i ever went to college. Oh well. I just received "elements of style" illustrated edition for Christmas. maybe i'll have to read it and incorporate its teaching into my life.

Susan Vilate said...

Personally I'm kinda proud of my SUD. I always wanted to have an accent when I was growing up, and then I went back East and realized I had one. I was delighted at the discovery!
Grace talks the cutest I've ever heard! It's like she just expects us to understand her mumbo-jumbo. So cute!!

Heidi said...

I'm so laughing about your post. I was just thinking the other day that I should blog about how far my speaking has fallen.

For example, I will now freely say, "Come on over and get some of these ones." THESE ONES?

You took the words right out of my mouth . . .

Gina said...

I can so relate. Especially when I jumped back into 400 level English classes a few weeks after getting home from Hawaii! Scary.
Of course now i have graduated to a more sophisticated vocabulary. I wonder how many times I've said the word poo or pee-pee in the last week?

amy said...