Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Language Sponge

Recently the Monkey skinned his knee.  At the time it wasn't painful enough to elicit a reaction, but when he caught a glimpse of the graze in the shower that night, he produced an extremely credible (and high-pitched) "ouch!!".  It was repeated every time he saw his injury over the next few days. 

It was a bit confusing as we hadn't really used the term much at home.  Previously if a graze or a bruise has been spotted, we've said things like "Oooh, you have a graze!", or something like that.

Anyway, we were sitting down watching some nature doco or other, when a porcupine appeared on the screen.  I named it for him (as is my wont these days), when he suddenly started up on his "ouch!! ouch!!" routine.  The only porcupine he's been exposed to is some African legend book about how the warthog got his warts (by running face-first into porcupine's quills, the daft sod).  I asked him if he wanted to read the book, and he trotted off, and fetched it back, and sure enough on the page where warthog becomes intimately acquainted with porcupine, there was a large "Ouch!" in the text.  We hadn't read the book for about 2/3 weeks, but as far as I can tell, this is probably the most likely source for the knee 'ouch!' as well. 

I was quite stunned to find that out.  I mean, I'd hardly credited the Monkey with being able to recall the morning's events after he'd had his midday nap, and now I have to assume that things are actually sticking in his wee mind.

He's turning into a little parrot as well.  Everything you say, you can expect to hear back, in its entirety (though maybe slightly garbled in the translation), or just some key words.  I suppose this is the point where we're really going to have to start watching our language!