My Opponent is in a Tournament

Two words each with three syllables and lately they’ve turned up together in lots of different sentences – it’s a new phase. The trouble with this particular phase is not a spelling issue but a pronunciation issue. For some unaccountable reason the two become smooshed together in a tangle, all discombobulated.

It’s a source of great frustration, understandably so – you wish to make a perfectly straightforward point but the two main words of the message turn into a tongue twister.

There’s always the usual advice – slow down, close your eyes, take a deep breath – amongst others, but that’s no good when the information is important and the syllables bounce and buoy around in all the wrong directions.

It’s tempting to simplify – why can’t he just say:-

My rival is in a battle

Or simpler still:-

My guy is in a fight.

Why torture a speech delay with extra syllables? All the meltdowns could be avoided if we could just give up and go for the easier option.

It’s painful to watch someone struggle to communicate – when youthful enthusiasm is foiled so frequently we need to take a different tack, something to nail those points in place.


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Mothers and millstones

Hurtling along at 65 mph in the car on holiday:-

“Is it…?”
“Is what dear?”
“It is…unusual?”
“Is what unusual?”
“It is ….unusual dirt behind your ears?”
“Yes it is. Most people have a shower every day and scrub behind their ears. Especially if they live in a hot country like California.”
“That’s a lie.”
“!”
“California is not a country it’s a State.”
“How true.”

**

Later, when we’ve trucked back home after a quiet and productive afternoon.

“My! That’s very sophisticated.”
“I am made it with my Legos.”
“I can see. It’s taken you a long time to make that articulated lorry. Very patient. Well done.”
“What it is?”
“What is what dear?”
“Dah word that you are saying of?”
“Articulated. Sorry, I meant…”
“No.”
“No?”
“Dah other word?”
“Er…lorry?”
“Yes. It is being your English word isn’t it.”
“Sorry I forgot. I meant truck – honestly.”

Summer holidays give us time for other pursuits:-

Scaredy Blob’s Adventures on U-Tube

All this technology makes my head hurt but I can’t allow such triflings to stifle their creativity.


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Holiday love and the preface

A speech delay can be a curious thing, for both the speaker and the listener. Around here, for the longest time, my youngest son has prefaced most of his remarks with the warm up phrase –‘I am be.’ It’s the verbal equivalent of ‘um, er, well, actually.’ It’s a kind of precursor we’ve learned to live with, hardly notice. Just when we think it’s disappeared, it pops back.

After many tortuous years, our annual holiday to England, becomes easier. We have finally reached the point where my country of birth is not longer ridiculed, mocked and loathed – or at least somewhat less so. They have been won over by a few of the finer features of British life, some resurrected from the mists of time for purely artificial purposes. Archaic practices such as ‘afternoon tea,’ are welcomed. Without the actual tea, it’s a winner. A box of indulgent shop bought cakes and other nefarious dalliances. No more hand-made, wafer thin cut slices of cucumber, pre-soaked in wine vinegar with the lightest dusting of white ground peppercorns and crust-less bread, cut into triangles. I know I’m beat, primarily due to their fake, but very realistic, vomit noises – gems before minors. But we’ve made progress in other areas:-

“Tell me one new thing that you like about England?”

“I am be love dah pink meringues.”

“Great! Anything else?”

“England respects lions.”

“Oh the joys of Longleat Safari Park!” But that’s the thing about a speech delay—we bimble along the usual pathways, only to be pounced on and decimated by one perfect sentence. Frosting, glitter and sprinkles on an otherwise quite ordinary existence.

“And? Can you think of anything else? A third?”

“I am be love dah chutz.”

“Chutz? What’s a chutz? I don’t think I remember anything called a chutz?”

“They be chutz are wooden things.”

“What kind of a wooden thing?”

“Large… no small wooden things with painted.”

“Hmm. Give me another clue?”

“They are be big enough for a body to be inside.”

“A box. A coffin? Do you mean coffin? No you can’t mean that. I’d remember if we’d seen a coffin. Another clue please.”

“Sigh…No. Dey are be on the sand.”

“Shell? Rock?”

“No. No.”

“I give up.”

“It is be…for peoples.”

“Ice-cream cones, hampers, coolers?”

“No. No. No. It is be…for peoples who are be on dah beach.”

“A wooden…spade? Deck chair? Parasol? Windbreak?”

“No. No. No. No. Dey are be in dah wooden thing with paint.”

“People in wooden painted things on the beach?”

“Yes… you sayed they were be for peoples to be out of the rains.”

“I did? The rains? Ooo, you mean beach huts.”

Clearly my diction needs brushing up.

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