Friday, December 15, 2006

Sisterly love

Sutton is taking an advanced English class at school. Every week they have a vocabulary test over words that are not usually a part of our family's everyday vernacular. Actually, unless it involves the words "tinkle," "poop" or "Mom, what's for dinner?" the discussions we have here will not contain the fancy words Sutton has to memorize.

So, to exert her superiority, and to let us know how "uneducated" the rest of us really are, Sutton likes to throw these various words around in casual conversations. Oftentimes we are impressed, while at other times her use of these words leaves Jimmy and me (with three master's degrees between us) scratching our often aching heads, as she forces vocabulary words we happen to know into statements that just don't make any sense.

Tuesday night, as we were coming home from the Christmas program, Sutton made one of her famous comments involving a weekly English word. Jimmy and I knew she had used the word incorrectly and just knowingly glanced at each other, not saying a word. Evidently, she saw the "knowing glance" and became quite defensive. She continued to use this $5 word in the same sentence and then gave us the whole Webster's definition, complete with other examples of the word used in a sentence.

We didn't argue with her which made the attempts to safeguard her intellectual authority over us even more fervent.

I finally turned around in my seat and told her that while we were proud of her knowledge of the word as well as her ability to define and give examples, she was, plain and simply, using the word incorrectly. She just sighed and plopped against the seat, only temporarily accepting defeat.

As usual Keaton was ready with her own words of support as she spoke dryly from the back seat, "Such a big word...such a little brain."

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