You Say Potato, I Say Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

As I sit with my family night after night enjoying dinner, telling stories, and generally just marveling at my children, I often wonder if other families have the same sort of interactions as we do. As I have said before, some of the conversations that come up at our table are really just over the top.

For instance, a few nights ago my little precious Cheddar Buns, a girl in the dawn of her tween years, is telling us a little story about school that day. It seems that her teacher was working with the class on an assignment and asked the class if anyone could give a word with a certain syllable requirement. I don't recall what the lesson was and in a moment you will understand why I don't remember what the lesson was.

Apparently the teacher asked for a word with whatever criteria he was looking for with one syllable. He then asked for a word, same criteria, two syllables, then three, and so on and so on. After weeding out the rest of the class, my little angel comes up with the word, and I quote, "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis". Let me break that down for you; pneumono-ultra-microscopic-silico-volcano-coniosis. Ok, now for those of you in my IQ range it is commonly referred to as P45.  Commonly referred to? Really?  P45 is an actual word people, in the Webster's dictionary.

As she is telling us the story, and explaining that her 5th grade teacher is asking her if that is a real word, looking it up in the dictionary, and telling her that she won the task hands down, (probably because she was the only one in the school that knew the word), my slightly older son Sour Dough, is yelling out "I KNOW ,I KNOW THE DEFINITION!" And believe it or not, he did know it. Not only did he know it, he told her she pronounced it incorrectly. "It isn't pronounced newmuno it's pronounced new-ma'no."

I'm sitting between them trying to stick peas to my knife with honey, and they are arguing the pronunciation of a word that was made up by some crossword people in 1935.

  1. A factitious disease of the lungs, allegedly caused by inhaling microscopic silicate particles originating from eruption of a volcano.


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