Friday, December 19, 2008

A wonderful congruence of posts . . .

I got the latest edition of the BEAM of Sonlight newsletter last night. I began reading it this morning.

The very last item in each issue is "A Little Humor." And this morning's humor was this:
Does this mean I've failed as a homeschooling mom?

Tonight my youngest made me ask myself this question.

She was flipping through some books about the Revolutionary War while working on a school project.

As she read a chapter about Paul Revere she exclaimed, "OH, it's one if by land and two if by sea!"

My response was something akin to "Well duh, what else could it possibly be?"

Her answer: "Oh you know how they used to say thee and thou and loveth? I thought it was one-eth by sea and two-eth by land."

She's 14, people. 14! We will never let her live this down.
Now here is where the "wonderful congruence" occurred.

The article immediately preceding the humor piece was Sarita's regular "A Word from Sarita" column in which she encouraged readers to "make the most of your family time" during the holidays and suggested means for doing just that.

One piece of advice:
We have a rule at our house that no one is allowed to make snide comments or put themselves or anyone else down. Our phrase: "No put-downs."

I know many families seem to almost value the well-phrased put-down. And while I understand the potential humor involved, may I note that it is expensive humor. It comes at the expense of the person who is weak.

John was the one who first pressed this point in our marriage. He noted Proverbs 26:18-19 and how it used a phrase that many people, accustomed to put-downs, use to justify their behavior. When someone is hurt by their words, they will often say, "I was just joking! And Proverbs 26:18-19 says, "Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death, so is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "Was I not joking?"

Please. Let me encourage you to protect your family and your time together as safe and affirming, not a battleground for put-downs and arguments.
I wrote back to the woman who said her family wouldn't let her daughter "live down" what she had said (or was it, rather, they wouldn't let her live down what she had thought?):
It strikes me that you caught your daughter in one of those odd "in-between" moments where she HAD thought, as a younger girl (how old was she when last she heard the poem?), that it said "one-eth by land and two-eth by sea." But now, seeing it in print, and having never given it a thought in years, she was startled to realize, "Why, of course!" And I expect she found it quite funny herself . . . unless and until family members "won't let her live it down."

Image via Wikipedia[Someone else suggested this was a case of misheard lyrics. My opinion,] It is, indeed, one of those "mis-heard lyrics" problems. Like thinking Jimi Hendrix said, " 'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" (instead of " 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky")--a lyrical mishearing I wouldn't have thought of had it not been that the website came up as the first option on my Google search for misheard lyrics). (Oh. And by the way, has some great examples of misheard lyrics; but there are, obviously, a lot of people with rather unrefined taste in music and/or language, so don't say I didn't warn you of potentially offensive language.)

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