Words. A word about them:
The other day, J was talking to a fellow employee at his purported place of business. I'm guessing the person he was speaking to was a blonde female, but that could just be me being stereotypical. Anyway, J told this person about our big lug, Jackson having torn his CCL (canine cruciate ligament). J said, "So now Jackson's lame." And this girl (Really, she had to be a blonde girl!) said, "Don't say that about him. He's not lame, he's a really great dog."
J shook his head, saying, "Crippled. Jackson's now crippled."
And the girl said, "Oh, I thought you meant like lame. You know, lame lame."
Seriously? Lame lame?
Apparently, while we weren't paying attention, the actual definition of lame, which J and I both believed to be a synonym of cripple, has morphed into what I would have considered slang. You know, lame lame. Like, that movie was so lame. And this post is pretty lame. See, I can actually use the word contemporarily correct.
It reminds me--this lame lame stuff--of how my mother used to quiz me about boys I talked about. "So," she'd ask, "Do you like him, or do you li-i-i-ke him?" Just writing that makes me cringe, remembering how her voice would slide up the scale as she said like, and how she'd look at me as though she was one of my girlfriends and we were sharing confidences. I hardly ever answered her directly. Usually I said, "Mother!" in an incredibly annoyed tone. It just bugged me that her extension of that single vowel sound changed the meaning of the word. Though, now that I think of it, I confess that I've used the same idea with my kids. Oops, now I'm cringing about that. "Do you like him? Or do you like like him?" Shoot, how lame lame is that? Both the twinning of the word and the pushing for the information in such a fashion. I repent in dust and ashes, at least today. Tomorrow, when one of them mentions a person of the opposite sex, I can't guarantee I won't be lame lame again.
I'm pretty sure it's in a parent's job description.
At least they'll have something to talk to therapists about years from now.