Tag Archives: Language


My autistic 7 year old has been surprising all of us lately with his perfect handwriting and the spelling and reading of really big words – especially for a kiddo his age who just became fully potty-trained two weeks ago.  Here’s a sample:


Sorry about the quality, but you can see his perfect, tiny letters.  I don’t know adults who can write that well!

His favorite game is to write words on paper after paper, then ask, “What does (fill in the blank) start with?”  He already knows, but if you know about autism, you probably also know that a lot of questions are ones to which they already know the answer.  It’s a form of mimicking a behavior that is safe, if that makes sense?  Anyway, the “game” evolves into, “how do you spell (fill in the blank).”

The funny thing is, this game does not usually work in reverse.  Meaning, if I go up to him and ask him to spell a word, more often than not, he will tell me no.  Or, he won’t answer the question, but will instead throw one back of his own.

Last week during dinner, his nearly 17 year old stepsister asked, “Isaac, how do you spell Isaac?”

Isaac, “Um…. no.”

Stepsister, “Isaac, how do you spell Isaac?”

Isaac, “No.”

Stepsister, “Isaac, how do you spell Isaac?”

Isaac, “How do you spell no?”

Of course, we were roaring with laughter.  And he was not even trying to be funny, making these games of his that much more entertaining.



Oh Oxford….

Oxford just announced its 2015 word of the year. Actually, it’s not a word. For the first time ever, a pictograph has been selected. Does anyone else feel we’ve just stepped back a few thousand years???

The winning title goes to an emoji by the name of “Tears of Joy.”


According to Oxford, this emoji was selected as the “‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.”

And I thought the new dictionary words were bad!  This is a tragic new low…

Creative Writing Exercise

Also posted on my other site: Homeschooling the Minds of Tomorrow


My cousin has very generously shared his recent assignments from a creative writing workshop he’s currently in. The most recent challenge I really enjoyed, as it took me from my normal writing subjects (me, kids, feelings). I think it would also serve as an excellent assignment for kids.

The subject is color and the writer is the voice of the color. The assignment should be no more than 250 words, and within a 5-10 minute time frame. Obviously, the duration and length of writing can be tailored around younger student’s abilities.

We both chose the color red, but I think did something very different with the same color, while some qualities of the color cannot be ignored and found themselves in both our writings.

Have fun!


Take me to the salsa club; I’ll sashay around and above your hips, energizing your dance moves. Wear me on your lips as we dine in fine company; leave me behind on your wine glass or lover’s mouth. I know you’ll reapply me soon… I am electric and lively, bold and brilliant. Delicate on a rose. Adrenaline on a Lamborghini. I am the deadly warning on the black widow spider, yet the life in oxygenated blood cells. I’m as beautiful as I am dangerous. What songwriter or poet hasn’t used me to convey desire and power? I am unapologetic, even as I flow from you. Spill me over the battle fields of history, yet man’s thirst for me will never be satiated. I am not evil though, no. For I am warmth in the roaring fire; the fantasy of all men and the empowerment of the shy woman. I am life within you. I will be noticed.  I am red – always worn with purpose.


Royal, regal, important, and powerful. I’m fast; I’m bright; and I’m hot. I’m revealing of inner humanity. I am the most brilliant of colors. Every painter has me on his palate. I am primary. I am a stand out in all of the classic paintings. Men adorn their dress with me, to take in the power that I exude. Men are not alive without me. I am the finest of wines, the standout in every salad. The finest juices broadcast their nectar with my semblance. The hummingbird despises any flower who does not know my beauty–for my ambrosia is the most exquisite.

I am both life and death. If my color does not run through your veins, you have passed to another age. If I fall from your body through the sword, your soul will flee also, for it does not want to reside without me. Jesus chose my wine as the that which should be remembered by all.

More of me upon woman’s lips produces a quenching thirst for them upon his own.

I broadcast all emergencies. The important buttons take my countenance. I demand attention. You will stop and take notice when you see me. Your heroes are no heroes at all without me. Santa Claus would lose his luster without me, for a suit of any other demands no notice.

I am resplendent.

*photo credit: blog.salonbuzz.com

The Prestigious New Words of Oxford

Language is constantly changing. My children recently asked about Old English and if it was different than English we speak now. I said yes! In fact, it would be almost impossible to read and understand today. Of course they wanted to know how this could be if it was “still English?”

I gave the following examples: iPad. Did that word exist fifty years ago? Would someone from the past have any clue what that is? So as things change, our language changes with it. Sometimes words are not new but their meaning is added upon or changed.

But today, it was I who received a lesson in language – first from my cousin, who messaged me in shared astonishment,  then from my own research. Let me put it this way: I’m not sure whether to share with my children some of these ridiculous new words and meanings now being placed in our dictionaries, or just keep it to myself for amusement!

For example: manspreading – the term, coined by London commuters, refers to men on public transport who splay their legs wide apart and encroach on neighboring seats.

Ummm good to know! I wonder if these men can be fined for their public display of uhh, real estate?

Butt dial – when someone accidentally dials you from their pants pocket.

Waaay behind on that term! I’ve been using it for at least two years!

Cat cafe – a cafe or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises.

I can’t even get upset at Oxford over this one. Seriously, people do this?! I mean I like animals as much as the next person, but to pay to pet them while eating a sandwich? I’m lost.

Fatberga very large mass of solid waste in a sewage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets.

Because when I’m speaking to someone about such things, I want to make sure I sound educated and use the proper term.

Awesomesauce –  something so good it’s beyond awesome!

Mkay – another way to say or spell okay.

I’m officially embarrassed. This must be a joke!

Hangry – anger when one is hungry.

Yep. I’m embarrassed.

I’ve got a few ideas! How about kangry? When one is angry because of their kids? Or tangry? Anger over towels not being hung after use. Nkay? No, it’s NOT okay! Oxfappointment – disappointment over Oxford additions.

Or Stupidspreading – the widespread spreading of stupid “words” until they become dictionary worthy.

I’m submitting my suggestions to Oxford immediately. Be on the lookout for these genius additions next year!