Friday, October 29, 2010


My last entry here caused me to have several childhood memories in relationship to the English language.

When I attended grammer school from the second grade onto the sixth grade it was a routine of all teachers to have a list of twenty words on the blackboard every Monday morning. We were given time to copy the words and this was our spelling lesson for the week. On Friday we had a spelling test. The procedure in my home was that on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday I was responsible for washing the dinner dishes while mother dried. My spelling words were pinned up above the sink and I spelled them out to my mother. I always loved this special time with her.

When I was a child it was the custom in our home that the dinner meal was not served until our father was home from work. Mother and father took their respective places at the head and foot of the table with children seated on each side. This was a time when my parents discussed their day, settled any household problems, discussed the news of the day and of course, each child was given time to report on his or her day and to ask questions and generally participate in the conversation.

I was about 10 years old when the following incident occured. Home on a
Friday, with an A on my spelling test I was so proud of myself. I could hardly wait for dinner. The teacher had given me two new words to try out on my parents! I was so excited! Another ritual of our dining table was to ask mother "may I be excused" when we had finished eating our meal. After I asked, mother always replied with, "have you had enough to eat?" My response this evening was "yes mother, I have had a superfluous amount any more would be a superfluity." My father sat with gaping mouth and my mother could not believe that I know those words. Vocabulary was very important in our home!!!

Julia, I agree with you, a post is something you attach fence wire or boards to. Since I do not live on a farm I think of a post as the newel at the foot of a stair case. So many words with dual meanings often confuse us. From now on I will not "post" my blog but I will "enter" material on my blog. Incidentaly, I do not find the word "blog" in my dictionary. What is the meaning of "blog?" Is it a descriptive word meaning everyone's area in cyberspace? Food for thought.


Julia said...

OH Doris, you had me laughing out loud. This "entry " is superfluous. I don't remember ever hearing those words before now. Maybe I never payed much attention as I was trying very hard to learn to speak english with the people whom I was working for. My english is still not great.
I used to add words to my vocabulary in the Reader's Digest years ago and had forgotten all about it.

Doris, I really enjoyed your post this evening. You made me laugh when I was feeling a bit low. Thanks. JB

weaverpat said...

Hi Doris,
We had the same 'Ozzie and Harriet' dinner hour, with family conversation and NO TV! What ever happened to that??? And, yes, language and education were important in our family. We were required to sit politely and eat our dinner and then ask to be excused.
I loved spelling tests!!! LOL!
Thanks for the reminder of a childhood that unfortunately no longer seems to exist!

Woolly Lott Rugs said...

Doris and Pat...
We STILL have the dinner table with my parents at each end and us kids on the sides and there is absolutely a NO TV law! I'm 51 and my one brother is 47 and the other 42. It's been like that since we were kids and it never changed. My brothers are teaching their children the same thing now along with their wives. The best thing about it is we LOVE IT!!! I guess as kids we had times we wanted to watch tv or go play but we repsected and loved our parents and that tradition never ended. In this busy hectic world it's the only time to all come together and really listen and talk to each other. It's a great thing!!


Doris said...

Cindi - it is so wonderful to know that someone is still doing it. My family continued the tradition until my husband died and then it was just one daughter an me. We continued altho there were only two. Congratulations to you and your brothers for keeping the tradition going.