Taking Stock - November 21, 2011

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WORDS are wonderful things. I should know, I’ve spent the last 10 years trying my best to make a living out of them.

The English language is a joy, capable of making us laugh and cry with equal ease.

And what’s more, we never stop learning. Even now, at the grand age of 32, I’m discovering new words and phrases – not to mention new meanings for old ones.

While it might be tempting to accuse our younger generation of ruining the language – mostly through the unnecessary removal of vowels, they must be applauded for their ingenuity, particularly when it comes to recycling.

Who would have thought, for a start, that sick and wicked could both end up meaning good?

Of course, all this constant evolution makes the language a tricky one to master.

There are rules, but our mother tongue doesn’t always stick to them – making it even trickier to get your head, and your tongue, round English.

Our American cousins have, of course, attempted to simplify affairs, removing a silent letter here, a vowel there – something we back here in Blighty have turned our noses up at over the years, venting our anger at computer spellchecks, hell bent on causing grammatical mischief.

My hat, then, must go off to anyone who learns this incredible language of ours.

The Munchkin is doing fantastically well, although she still hasn’t quite got the hang of today and tomorrow.

And now her little brother and sister are preparing to join the party.

First words are a proud moment for any parent. Everyone dreams of that moment when their little bundle of joy ( or should that me dribble and slime) pipes up for the first time.

‘Mummy’ or ‘Daddy’ is, of course, what everyone wants to hear their baby utter for the first time.

There was some disappointment then, with the Munchkin, when her first utterance was Reggie – the name of our errant feline.

Surely with two little minds and mouths at our disposal this time around we’d have a better chance of selfish success.

Sadly, once again, we’ve been foiled.

But at least, with their first words, the twins are showing another important British trait – good manners.

Both of them have mastered ‘ta’.

I know, it’s not exactly queen’s English but as a dad, and a Lancastrian, I’m rather proud.

Our boy twin, bless him, has managed to use the word Daddy but I’m not sure he’s fully grasped the concept, given he was pointing at a picture of a monkey at the time.

Still, at least this time, nobody’s made me feel lower in the pecking order than the cat.