Posted by: Kenn Hermann | March 7, 2006

Kids (Still) Say the Darndest Things

If none of you have grandchildren yet, get at least one — soon. They bring many joys and delights .

My granddaughter and I both look forward to spending Thursday after school together. This past Thursday she picked up a tape measure I had on the counter and started measuring everything in sight. To make it interesting I told her to find things that measured 20″, 13″, 51″, and several other dimensions. As a second-grader, she enjoyed the challenge. I finally asked her how many inches tall she thought she was. Hmmm, she wasn’t sure, but she did know how much she weighed. She said she weighs exactly 60 pounds. “How do you know that?” I asked. “I stepped on mommy’s weighter in the bathroom,” she announced. When I told her that we call that a scale, she looked puzzled.

I could just ‘see’ her question: if we ‘weigh’ something on it, why don’t we call it a ‘weighter’? Who knows? She has intuitively learned one of the secrets (and mysteries) of the English language: turn any (well, most any) verb into a noun by adding -er or -or.

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