After Christmas Conversations on the Square, Part 2

The following is an excerpt of a conversation, Part 2, with mainly my 25-year-old daughter Lauren on Monday, December 28, 2015, as we walked, shopped and dined in downtown McKinney, Texas − or as I like to call it, The Square.

The day was cold and blustery. The week before and through Christmas, we’d had unseasonably warm temperatures ranging in the mid to high 70’s. The day after Christmas (Saturday), a strong cold front blew through, which spawned several devastating tornadoes in the North Central Texas area. By Monday, the temps had plummeted to highs only in the mid 30’s.

With a day off from work, Lauren and I decided to spend the day doing what we like to do best, shop and dine.

**************

At the restaurant with Lauren and our waiter, Chad (not his real name):

Toward the end of our dining experience:

Mona:

I just read this article on YouTube – what am I saying?! I didn’t read anything on YouTube. I watched on YouTube this presentation about the 25 most commonly mispronounced words and phrases in the English language.

Lauren (laughing):

Oh, thank God! I was all like whaaaaaaat is Mom confused about now? You don’t read on YouTube, you watch videos on YouTube.

Mona:

Yes. I believe I just covered that. What I was trying to tell you was –

Lauren:

So what was the site you were watching? Was it like … oh, what’s the name …

Mona:

Uhm. Mythical Morning, maybe?

Lauren:

Oh, right. I know that one. That’s a good site. With the two guys? It’s actually called Good Mythical Morning. Yeah, they’re great. But they aren’t who I was trying to think of. I can’t believe I can’t think of the name of that one site. It’s really popular.

Mona:

I have no idea. I don’t know that many YouTube sites. Are you thinking of Ted Talks, maybe?

Lauren:

No. Wait. Just a minute.

Mona:

Okay. So does this mean that you don’t want to hear about what I watched?

Lauren:

No, I do. It’s just that I need quiet for a minute. Shush. I’m trying to think.

(Silence. More silence. More silence.)

Lauren:

Never mind. I can’t think of it right now. Go on. What were you saying … 25 words and phrases?

Mona:

Yes. In the English language that people most frequently mispronounce. And I’m sad to say that there were a bunch of words that I found out I mispronounce as well.

Lauren:

And you’re surprised by this? I’m not. Was ‘poem’ in there? Because I’ve never heard anyone say poem like you do. It isn’t ‘poim.’ There is no ‘oi’ in the word. Why do you say it like that?

Mona:

No, Lauren. That word was not in there.

Lauren:

 What word was not in there?

Mona:

 Smartass. I’m not going to say it so you can continue to make fun of me.

Lauren:

Oh, you mean you’re not going to say ‘poem?’ Or should I say ‘poim?’

Mona:

Exactly!

Lauren:

MENTAL FLOSS! That’s the name of the site I was thinking about!

Mona:

Yes, the guys from Mythical Morning mentioned Mental Floss.

Lauren:

It’s a great site. You should check it out some time. I love it. So, are you ever going to tell me any of these 25 words and phrases?

Mona (giving the evil eye):

I don’t know. Are you going to let me?

(Awkward silence for a full ten seconds.)     

Mona:

 Okay. Here’s one for you. I didn’t realize it, but I say ‘ath-a-lete’ like it has three syllables in it. Only, until these two guys mentioned it, I didn’t realize I did that.

Lauren:

It’s athlete, Mom. Two syllables. What’s wrong with you? Nobody says ‘ath-a-lete.’ Who does that?

Mona:

Apparently, a lot of people, that’s who. It made it on their top 25. So, I’m in good company. Okay, Smartypants, is the saying, “the spitting image” or “the spit and image?”

Lauren:

It’s neither. It is pronounced, ‘spit’n image,’ which is a contracted form of ‘spit and image’ because ‘spitting image’ makes no sense. Why would anyone say that someone’s the ‘spitting image’ of someone else?

Mona (Sighing):

Because ‘spit and image’ makes more sense to you? When I think about it, neither saying makes sense. And not that I’ve ever really thought about it before, but ‘spitting image’ conjures up someone’s image made from spit … or, even worse, an image that spits at you when you look at it … and that’s just gross. But ‘spit and image’ doesn’t make sense either and may only be slightly less gross.

Lauren:

Well, what they mean by ‘spit’ is that the people are related. Spit as in DNA, obviously. Two people have the same DNA − spit, plus they look alike − image.

Mona:

Well, then, why didn’t whoever just coin it, ‘the DNA and image?’

Lauren:

 Probably because that saying’s been around since before they knew about DNA.

Mona:

Okay. Then how would they know that DNA was in spit if they didn’t know about DNA before they came up with that saying?

Lauren:

I don’t know. They just knew that our spit shared our genetic material.

Mona:

Okay. Well, then … if that were true, why didn’t they say ‘the blood and image?’ People have said ‘blood’ to denote a familial tie for like … eternity. If they said ‘blood and image’ don’t you think that people would have understand what that meant better than ‘spit and image?’

Lauren:

I don’t know. Why are you asking me? It’s not like I even use that phrase, anyway. But I’m telling you, no one says ‘spitting image.’ They say ‘spit’n image.’

Mona:

Well, I’ve always said ‘spitting image’ because that’s what I was taught. And that would have been what I would have taught you. So unless you learned ‘spitting image’ from someone else, that’s what you should be saying, unless you learned it incorrectly from the way I taught you. And I do believe that this would be one of those times when two wrongs wouldn’t end up making you right, like you’re now suggesting. Plus, until now, I guarantee you’ve never had this in depth conversation about that phrase before. You’re just saying it differently now so you can act like … ‘Oh, Mom’s so stupid,’ now that I’ve admitted to saying it wrong, as so many others have, because we’ve all been taught it the wrong way.

Lauren:

That’s not true and no one says that, Mom.

Mona:

Oh, yeah? Let’s ask our waiter, Chad, what he says.

Lauren:

Don’t drag our poor waiter into this!

Mona:

Why? Because you know I’m right?

Lauren:

Oh, for Pete’s sake. Is this going to be like the time you surveyed all of the wait staff at that restaurant in Dallas about whether they say ‘corn dog’ or ‘corny dog?’ Please. Let’s not go through that again. Did you ever write about that? You were going to, which is why you   went through the embarrassment of asking everyone that night. Remember?

Mona:

Oh, I remember. And I wasn’t embarrassed. You were. And no. I’ve not gotten around to writing about that yet. Not sure why. It’s on my list of things to write about, though.

Lauren:

When was that … last year?

Mona:

No, Baby, that was …

Lauren:

2014, then?

Mona:

 No.

Lauren:

2013?

Mona:

Uhm, maybe. I’m thinking it was more like 2011 or 2012. Time flies, doesn’t it? (Turning to our waiter): Chad, I’ve got a question for you. Do you have a minute?

Chad:

 Yes, of course. What can I do for you?

Mona:

Do you say ‘corn dog’ or ‘corny dog?’

Lauren:

Mom! Stop! I can’t believe you.

Mona:

Hush. I’m talking to Chad right now. Chad?

Chad:

Well … that depends.

Mona:

On?

Chad:

Whether I’m at the State Fair or not. When I’m at the State Fair, I say ‘corny dog.’ Outside of the Fair, though, I say ‘corn dog.’

Mona:

 Really? How about that! Nicely done! You’re like a statesman, both tactful and you know how to work both sides of a room. With that skill, you could even be a politician.

Chad:

I could? Uhm … I’m not sure that’s a compliment.

Mona:

Trust me. I only mean that in a good way. So, one last question: Is the phrase, ‘the spitting image’ or is it ‘the spit and image?’

Chad:

I’ve never really thought about it before. I guess I say ‘the spitting image?’

Mona:

See, Lauren, he says it, too! By the way, I do too, Chad. However, I just found out that the correct phrase is ‘the spit and image.’

Lauren:

Because ‘spitting image’ doesn’t make any sense, you see.

Chad (looking very confused):

Okay. You two are blowing my mind right now. But, hey, I kind of like it.

Mona:

Yes. Because that’s what we do, Chad. We blow people’s minds with these kinds of important, philosophical discussions we have when we get together. And you’re welcome.

Chad:

Okay. Well, come back again soon and tell me more.

Lauren:

Never fear! We’ll be back.

Mona:

With more. So be prepared.

Here is the episode of Good Mythical Morning’s “Top 27 Mispronounced Words.” If you’re curious, that is.

 

2 thoughts on “After Christmas Conversations on the Square, Part 2”

  1. I like the re-write. It’s still funny!
    It may be my machine, but there is a lot of white space between speakers, which makes it hard to keep up with who is speaking. Not sure what is causing it…
    Back to the article. I think you did a great job of eliminating some conversation and condensing from the earlier version. You have wonderful powers of observation — and seeing the absurdity of peoples words and actions.
    Keep going!

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