Learning to Manipulate Words : The Pleasure of Language Learning

The phase when kids pick up language is an extremely interesting phase both for them, and for us, as we can see how they manipulate different words to suit their circumstances. Here is a sample. 

At the dinner table,

Adult : Do you want to give this item to Migu?

Me : No, it is bitter.

Bulb glowing in Migu’s Head : Bitter is a word I can use to get out of eating food I don’t like.

After some time,

Me : Why dont you eat up the raw banana subji?

Migu : It is bitter.

Me : (Perplexed and tasting it to find it is perfectly fine, if a little bland) What?

Migu : It is bitter.

Me : Do you even know what it means?

Migu : (Nods her head gravely) It is bitter 

Me : What do you want to eat?

Migu : Fried neem flowers (an extremely bitter dish which she seems to like for some reason)

Me (very perplexed) : Is that not bitter?

Migu : (Shakes her head vehemently)    It is……. nice.

 

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