Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Mysterious Silent "G"

People still question where we are from. They can hear it in our voices, but it's faint enough that they can't tell. They can just tell there is a bit of Southern accent in there. People tend to hear it more in my voice than in Hubby's. When I call back to talk to my mom, I can actually hear her accent when she's talking to me, so I know that I've lost a lot of mine.

Just as a little background for this story, Caboose was our child that wanted to do everything that had to do with letters and reading early. He was reading chapter books by the time he was five. Although I think part of this is his personality, I also think part of this was having older siblings. None of our other children were like this.

One day this week I was doing spelling with Caboose. He's always been pretty good at spelling, and since this is one of the early lists for the year, I just went over the words once before I asked him to say-spell-say them to me. When I got to the word "listen" he said the word and then started spelling it. He said ," l...i...s...t...i...n...g." Kind of like going and goin' or having and havin', which made me think that he didn't know what word I was saying. Maybe he thought I meant listin' as in I was listin' it on ebay. So I used it in a sentence just to make sure. Same thing: "l...i...s...t...i...n...g."

Where do you go from there? I couldn't giggle because Caboose is a little sensitive about making mistakes. I had to handle it delicately so as not to make him feel inadequate either. So I just went for the obvious: I explained the word listing that he was spelling, showed him listen on his list, and charged ahead. I did casually mention how sometimes we tend to drop the "g" off of our "ing" words, but that this wasn't one of those cases. I hoped it was enough to make his brain remember the next time. Plus I figure if I'm dropping that many g's in speech at my house, we're bound to end up with another interesting spelling sometime soon.


Mari said...

I would love to hear you talk sometime - I bet you have a great little accent!

Lora said...

That's so funny! I can relate--I confess to definitely having a Southern accent. I pretty much lost it growing up in OH, but picked it up rather quickly after I moved back. Then when I was away at college (with Canadian roomies) I lost a little of it, but it comes back so strongly when you live here. And if you think Arkansans have a strong accent, then you should live in Alabama. This is the Deep South!! Your son would be totally confused on spellings here:) For instance, the word "lawn" is often pronounced "loan". It does have it's charms though:) There's certainly nothing else quite like a Southern accent.

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