"Ridicule. Say, 'ridicule.' Noun. To scorn or mock. To mock means 'to make fun of.'"
Joey has discovered that the vocabulary-building program he uses at school has a website, and he can access words right through "level 12" (I think that means "12th grade")- complete with parts of speech, definition, and even examples. He's delighted. He can now process out all the words he can digest, whenever he feels like it.
"Vain. Say, 'vain.' To think well of oneself. Or to be useless. Mommy, say, 'vain.'"
One of the good things about the program is that it is not spelling-only; it actually pushes kids to improve their vocabulary, to broaden their use and understanding of language. Plus, we can access it 24 hours a day- whenever we need a comforting activity.
"Misfortune. Say, 'misfortune.' Unlucky, trouble. Mommy, today I had a misfortune. See, Mommy? You know what would be the worst misfortune, Mommy? If you died. That would be a terrible misfortune."
I have been listening carefully to the words Joey has been picking to repeat. A lot of them have been... interesting. And negative. He seems to be not only processing words, but trying to process words that make him uncomfortable; something he has done, loud and proud, since he was pretty small. He now has whole sentences to echo, not just the word itself.
"Slay. To kill violently. Slay means 'to kill.' You slayed me, Mommy!"Interestingly, he is also not always right. He's having trouble with phrases such as "in vain"- which seems to him oddly unrelated to the word "vain." Separating the two is very difficult for him. He's also running about testing us in multiple-choice format. Sometimes he even tells us what the question is. OR what the choices are. Or neither. Rarely both.
"Appall. Say, 'appall.' To cause horror. H-o-r-r-o-r, Mommy. Appall!"
Sometimes he looks up the signs for the words. He seems to think it funny. Or an excuse to get my phone. If he can't find a sign, he runs about finger-spelling the word. He's getting pretty good at finger-spelling... he's getting plenty of practice.
"Rout. Mommy, you routed me. That means you defeated me completely."
At least it's educational, right?
"Jeer. Verb. To mock. It means to make fun of, and not nicely, Mommy. It's not nice to jeer, Mommy."
No, my love. You keep talking it out, though. Some of us just have to do that processing aloud.