Tag Archives: conversations with my kids

Conversations with My Kids: Mispronounced Words

The following is a conversation between my 13-year-old son (KJ), 8-year-old daughter (CJ), and me :

KJ: Momma, I just discovered I’ve been spelling and pronouncing “environment” wrong for years.

I had to laugh because it was said as if he’d spent decades on the planet.

MJ: How have you been spelling it?


MJ: So you’ve been pronouncing it like, IN-VI-ERN-MENT?

KJ: Yeah.

MJ: Makes you sound like a hick.

KJ [chuckles]: I know, but a lot of people pronounce it that way.

MJ: Do I?

KJ: No, but I didn’t really notice I did until I saw the word on one of my homework assignments.

CJ: I’ve been pronouncing a word wrong.

MJ: You have?

CJ: Yeah, I’ve been saying FEB-YOU-AIR-EE. I didn’t know there was an “R” in there. It’s FEB-ROO-AIR-EE! Everybody says FEB-YOU-AIR-EE.

This got me thinking about words that are commonly mispronounced. I thought of  few, but searched on Google for a list. Here are a few I’ve heard or were surprising to me. I have to admit, I was guilty of a few mispronunciations. Click here for the full list.

Incorrect –> Correct 

  • affidavid –> affidavit   Damn. Right of the bat, I’m guilty. I know how it’s spelled, but I think I do this. I can get lazy with the “t” and not say it clearly. Curse you, southern dialect!


  • Old Timer’s –> Alzheimer’s  Well, I guess Old Timer’s do get Alzheimer’s.
  • aks –> ask


  • bidness –> business  This one is like nails on a chalkboard.
  • blessing in the skies –> blessing in disguise   I was surprised people mispronounce this one. Maybe they are just waiting for a holy vision to appear?
  • cannidate –> candidate  Maybe it’s a cross between a cannibal and a candidate? It might not be too far-fetched.
  • card shark –> cardsharp  I learned something. I’ve never seen it pronounced or written as “cardsharp.” Guilty, again.
  • carpool tunnel syndrome –> carpal tunnel syndrome   It was probably derived from parents sitting too long in the carpool lane.
  • chester drawers –> chest of drawers  Who has Chester’s drawers?
  • doggy dog world –> dog eat dog world

doggy dog world

  • expecially –> especially  Said by those who are extra special. 
  • Febyuary –> February  Hey, my daughter’s only eight. Cut her some slack. 
  • irregardless –> regardless


  • jewlery –> jewelry This one gets me too.
  • Laura Norder –> law and order  SMH
  • libary–> library  I’m going to go out on a limb and say this person doesn’t visit one.
  • mawv –> mauve [mowv] Learned something else, but it just doesn’t sound right. Guilty, yet again.
  • mute –> moot  Nails on a chalkboard.
  • neanderthal < –> neandertal  Either is acceptable, but Germans pronounce it with a “t” sound. Add German accent if you prefer the “t” version.


  • nucular –> nuclear  Always makes me think of him.


  • persnickety –> pernickety (pronounced with a silent “s”)  I’m guilty of pronouncing the “s,” but in my defense, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary shows the incorrect pronunciation.
  • prolly –> probably I’ve seen this one typed like this way too many times. Texting is going to destroy our language.
  • for all intensive purposes –> for all intents and purposes
  • pacifically –> specifically
  • supposably –> supposedly  And I just thought they were just congested.
  • take for granite –> take for granted


  • zuology –> zoology   Never thought about this until now. Is it Zulander or Zoolander?

zoolanderWhat are some words that you often hear mispronounced? Are you guilty of mispronouncing any words?


Conversations with My Kids: The Word Funeral

The following is a conversation I had with my daughter upon picking her up from school:

MJ: How was your day, baby doll?

CJ: There was a funeral at school.

MJ: W-what?

CJ [smiling slyly]: A word funeral. [giggles]

MJ: A word funeral? Tell me about it.

CJ: Well, it was the fourth graders, and they were having a funeral for words that were used too much. They had to use better words in their place.

I didn’t recall my son doing this in 4th grade. I was intrigued.

MJ: What words did they bury?

CJ: Words like “big” and “fun” and “awesome.”

MJ: Really? And what words would you use instead?

CJ: Um, enormous and fabulous and…sublime.

She smiled because we both knew sublime was one she learned from the word of the day. She remembered! I’m so proud of her. I guess I should resurrect the word of the day posts.

As I was searching for an image to attach to this post, I came across this YouTube video for a Dead Words Funeral. Other schools are eulogizing overused words too. The video is adorable. Watch it if you have time.

Conversations with My Kids: Disappearing Forests and the Lorax

deforestationA few months ago, I was driving to the store with my kids. We passed a stretch of highway as we had hundreds of times before, but this time my son gasped as he surveyed the property. What was once beautiful rolling hill country dotted with native trees and plants, and untouched by human hands, was now barren wasteland. The vegetation had been wrenched and scraped from the earth by a team of bulldozers and backhoes.  It resembled a war zone, a picture of complete desolation.

My son’s shoulders slumped and he said, “Another forest…gone.” Then my son, a Discovery channel junkie, started to quote statistics about the disappearing rainforests. “Did you know we lose over 100,000 acres of rainforest every day?”

We had talked about preserving the world’s rainforests and protecting the environment, but I hadn’t expected him to quote the statistics. I knew that the rainforests were being destroyed at an alarming rate but I didn’t realize just how much. The statistic was shocking. “100,000? Really?”

“Yeah,” he turned in his seat to look at the destruction and said, “all so we can have something like a Walmart.”

My daughter’s face turned solemn and she said, “It’s just like the Lorax, Momma.”

LoraxI had no idea I was raising such environmentally conscious kids. The consequences of deforestation on the earth’s ecosystem is devastating. At the rate the rainforests are being consumed, they could be completely destroyed in less than fifty years. The main causes of deforestation are as follows:

  • commercial logging (furniture, paper products, building materials, etc.)
  • clearing land for grazing animals and farming
  • fuel wood to power industrial plants (such as steel and pulp mills)

Now consider these two statistics:

  • More than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazonian rainforest, and
  • One-fifth of the world’s fresh water can be found in the Amazon basin.

Air and water: basic necessities for human life. What kind of world are we leaving for our children?

How you can help stop deforestation:

  • Go paperless
  • Recycle
  • Buy recycled products
  • Eat vegetarian
  • Create consumer demand for renewable rainforest products (tropical oils, fruits, nuts, medicinal plants, chocolate, etc.)
  • Plant a tree

To learn more about the consequences of deforestation and how you can help protect the rainforests click here. Please take the time to read this.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Conversations with My Kids: Defense Against the Dark Arts

The following is a conversation I overheard between my two kids.

CJ: [heavy sigh] I have Theater Arts tomorrow.

KJ: Isn’t that a good thing?

CJ: No, because I have Mr. D and he’s not nice.

KJ: There’s another new Theater Arts teacher?

CJ: Yeah.

KJ: [chuckle} It’s kind of like the Defense Against the Dark Arts class in Harry Potter.

CJ: Yeah and Mr. D is like Professor Snape!

This one made me giggle. Love those two!

Conversations with My Kids: The Best Defense

With the start of basketball season right around the corner, I’m reminded of the time my son first played basketball on a team. They were all very young and to help the players grasp the concept of man-to-man defense, each player wore a colored wristband that matched one on the opposing team. All they had to do was find the player who wore the same color wrist band and make sure he didn’t score (without touching him, of course).

My son was a decent defensive player, but there was one game in particular where he seemed to grasp this concept exceptionally well.  I had never seen him play so aggressively. The poor boy on the opposing team didn’t have a chance of scoring because my son was on him like, well, white on rice.

Here is the post-game conversation:

Me: Wow, buddy. You played really good defense today.

KJ: That kid was not nice, Momma.

Me: What did he do?

KJ: He was trash talking.

Me: Really? What did he say?

KJ: I can’t tell you. They were not nice words.

Me: Did you say anything to him?

KJ: Yeah, I told him, “Well, you’re not getting the ball boy!”

Ha! Ha! I love that my son taught a little trash-talker a lesson without stooping to his level. It made this Momma proud. 🙂