Since today is Saturday, I’m doing what I always do on days ending in “Y” and taking a break from writing about science topics. I could argue, however, that the following garbage might be vaguely associated with linguistics and hence, at a broader level, childhood or developmental psychology. I know nothing about these.
When I was two or three, I would sometimes have ginger ale and potato chips for a snack. For whatever reason I took to calling these “see-soo” and “tip-tips” respectively. This was clearly a formative language sort of thing; I heard the right words and jumbled them somewhere between Broca and Wernicke, and it was some time before I started spitting out the right terms for this healthful repast. I think I was about 30.
I also remember going to Cinema 93 with my dad to see the Dino de Laurentis remake of King Kong. This film was released was in 1976, so I would have been six years old. As many know, the climax featured Kong scrambling around atop not the Empire State Building but the then-brand-new World Trade Center. I became an immediate fan of the movie, drawing endless pictures of Kong wreaking havoc on everyone and everything and collecting King Kong jigsaw puzzles. The thing is, I couldn’t keep the name of the skyscrapers straight and kept caling the WTC the “Happy Day Care Center.” My parents thought this was pretty goddamned funny, and now I see why. But in contrast to see-soo and tip-tips, this error was not a language issue per se; by that age I, and I imagine all “normal” kids, have developed whatever psychomotor skills are required to translate something heard into something correctly spoken.
I was fairly verbal as a child (though I’ve since lost the ability to ramble on ad nauseam about nothing at all), so perhaps my parents, who both read htis blog (and by, are they proud!) , will remind me of additional examples. However, given that so many of the regulars here are incredibly strange and disturbed, I’d be interested in hearing about everyone else’s childhood language quirks, goofs, and other delights. If you’re embarrassed about these today, just post them anyway and I promise not to tell anyone.