The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Conversations and a cure

Rachael Conlin Levy
“Conversation” courtesy of bensonkua.

Most conversations with my kids are an exchange of words aimed at keeping the family unit humming along. I’m talking about communication currency, a little give and take, and the table gets set, the laundry gets folded, and everyone goes to the library. But sometimes, there’s a hiccup in the family action that allows for an actual conversation with one of my kids, and a chance for me to peer into their growing minds.

Such an opportunity came last night. I’d curled up on the couch, nursing the baby and a new cold, when another son snuggled next to me to renew a conversation about his lack of friends and the dilemma it will cause at his next birthday. And as I listened, I began to pick up a few eggcorns, a linguistic term for when a person substitutes a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker’s dialect. For example, for all intensive purposes instead of for all intents and purposes. Here are a few of my 7-year-olds’:

“When we play tag, they run around like bunnies being chased by a dog. They’re just custling around.”

“Their eyes just burgled out when they saw my lunch, and I said, ‘Noooooo, this is not a hot pepper.’ “

When my son’s schoolmates aren’t “burgling” or “custling,” they’re recreating scenes from the video games they play. And since my kids’ computer time is limited to a half-hour each week, they just don’t share their peers’ obsessions, though they know how to talk-the-talk.

“Daniel didn’t go to school because he caught Wiiitis,” my son told his dad.

“What? What’s Wiiitis?”

“I don’t know. Probably when you hurt your arm or your leg.”

“How do you know he got Wiiitis?”

“His mom said so.”

Apparently, the cure for Wiiitis is a couple ibuprofen and a day off from school. The cure for my cold? Chicken soup and pizza bread. Here’s my comfort food when I’m sick:

Chicken soup


Pizza bread

In the bowl:

Lipton chicken noodle soup


On the side:

pizza bread

Pizza bread recipe

serves 12

1 loaf of sourdough bread, sliced lengthwise.
1 large can of tomato paste
4 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 small can of black olives, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix tomato paste, cheese, onions, black olives and olive oil. Spread over bread. Bake at 350-degrees until bubbly. Feel free to modify … like cheddar? Add more cheese. Doesn’t seem squishy enough? Add a bit more oil.

One response to “Conversations and a cure”

  1. mamapease says:

    this is such a great post. I have not heard of the word eggcorn so thank you for the nugget and the recipes. I am sorry you are getting a cold again 🙁 Hey but I would rather have a cold than wiitis. That is a more of a permanent condition I imagine.

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