Monday, July 10, 2017

Word Play

Even though it's summer vacation, there is still plenty of learning going on in Krinkeland.  Madeline joined a book club with her classmates.  Elisabeth is tutoring a younger student.  Amanda is taking driver's education.  Benjamin is figuring out odds for his favorite football teams on Madden 2017.  It's all good.

Maddy, of late, has had a lot of questions regarding language usage and vocabulary.  My journalism background comes in kind of handy, but I also find myself wishing I was an English teacher.  First, she asked me about the word department.  The context was Maddy asking me what exactly a department store was.  Since I know as much about shopping as I do about words, this was not a problem.  We even discussed the difference between a department store and a discount department store, and branched out into the term "big box store."  However, the next day, she asked me what DNR stood for, and became more puzzled when I explained it was Department of Natural Resources.  What does the word department mean here? I fumbled more over this definition... and had a moment of appreciation for all who learn English as a second language.

Maybe it's a shopping thing, but, today, Madeline asked me what a rear was.  I said that word means your bottom.  "My butt?" she asked, because bathroom humor is always in style.  I nodded.  Maddy was quiet for a few moments and then asked, "So, why do they say 'the rear of the store?'"  I broadened my definition to the back or the back end.  She's still thinking.

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