But do we actually stop to think, enjoy and cherish the journey as children continue to add new words and meanings and form their very own dictionaries. Sometimes, maybe we do. But for the most part, come to think of it, the answer to that question would be in the negative. We do take a lot of pride in the fact that our children have a huge arsenal of words at their disposal and that they know what word to use when but many a times what we tend to miss out on is the beauty of the very process of change and development on the language front.
This fact struck me this morning when the younger sibling said “Some of the children brought empty cereal boxes to class yesterday while some did not”. Though the immediate mind registered the fact that the sentence was grammatically correct and while there was a distinct sense of delight in the fact that sentences now are being constructed with an increasing awareness of grammar, somewhere in the back of my mind a small voice said “Hey – was there not something wrong with that sentence ?”. In terms of Abhayspeak, I mean.
Took a couple of minutes for the fact to register – the fact that he never ever used to use the word “brought” in his sentences. Words like “brought”, “thought”, “fought” etc … were an anathema as far as younger sibling was concerned.
In terms of Abhayspeak, the correct word was not “Brought” but “Brung” ……… “He brung this to school”, he'd say as if the word "brung" was the most natural thing in the world.
Similarly “Thought” would be so naturally and casually replaced with the word “Thunk” ……. “I Thunk that the news was at 7 pm” he would say and that was akin to waving a red flag right under the nose of the elder sibling who would, exasperation dripping from each of her words, immediately pipe up “Abhay PLEASE – It is so NOT Thunk – the word is Thought and NOT Thunk”.
Many a days, while the elder sibling stared in absolute horror, we would be treated to a literary onslaught – Abhay style. “Today Nick thunk that he had brung his favorite toy to school but Sam made fun of him and then they fighted a lot.”
And somehow along the way we missed out on how the “Thunk” changed into “Thinked” and how the “Brung” changed into “Bringed”. And now that he uses grammatically correct words, the vocal thumps of the earlier Thunks and Brungs sound so awesomely cute.
It was that grammatically correct sentence, spoken today morning, rather naturally, that made me realize that another phase had just ended and a new one begun.
And yeah, I realized much to my own chagrin today that I really miss those “Thunks” and the “Brungs”.
Think I should ask him what happened to all those "Thunks" and "Brungs" ?? :)