Friday, June 22, 2007

The Granny Path

Today, blog people, we're going to discuss linguistics from a different point of view. We're going to discuss it as an aspect of the granny path.

Yesterday, you see, I found myself taking another step down this granny path. I don't hold with the saying that age is only a number. The minute I turned 50, some sort of switch in my brain flipped and I was set upon a new linguistic byway. It's inevitable. It's inexorable. It's embarrassing.

It started very shortly after the half-centenary birthday, when suddenly, and quite naturally, I began calling everybody "dear". It rolls off my tongue without conscious thought, and no one ever looks taken aback or insulted by it. Because, you see, I appear an appropriate sort of personage to be calling people "dear". It suits me now. Also, twice in the last month I have actually blessed someone's heart.

Sorry. My shawl just slipped off my shoulders and got caught on the rocker of the chair. Where was I?

Oh, yesterday's step on the path. I was at a friend's house doing some bookkeeping sort of work, and I looked up from some frustrating ciphering efforts and inquired, "Do you have an adding machine?"

Yes. An ADDING MACHINE. A device that was invented in the 17th century and phased out by modern things known as "calculators" shortly thereafter. This is apparently what I was hoping to be brought to me.

(Excuse me, but could you also bring me a slide rule?)

I have also begun noticing that I am telling the same stories to people over and over. It turns out, now that I'm the granny doing this, that this behaviour, too, is a trick of the brain. It's not that I've forgotten telling the story, but that I somehow believe that the particular person I'm regaling with it has never had the pleasure. Never mind that my circle of family and friends consists of approximately 7.3 people and that therefore the likelihood that any given one of them has heard my story before is in the realm of, well, certainty. Like the anorexic who looks at a skeleton in the mirror and sees a fat person, I look at my sister of 47 years and see someone who knows nothing about me.

Gee, I wish when I looked in the mirror, I saw a skeleton. But no, that doesn't happen. I see my grandma. Bless her heart, dear.

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