What's in a Word | All Blogs


Duped into a trip-up

By Debra Dobbins

Kudos should go to Dolly for trying out a new word. She must have learned the word “duplicate,” which means an identical copy, and extended the meaning when she spied triplets … or triplicates, if you will.

Watching children figure out language is both fascinating and charming. My three-year-old granddaughter told me recently that she “drawed” a picture for her father. Since most English verbs are regular verbs that use “ed” in the past tense, she has inferred that adding the “ed” suffix is how to describe an event in the past.

Choosing not to correct her, I replied, “Yes, you drew a beautiful picture.” I could almost see her brain’s neurons fire up. I know that she’s tucked away that usage away and, when her stage of development is right, she’ll say, “I drew a picture.” I just hope she doesn’t say, “I drew a picture all over the living room wall.”


 

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