Day 26: Something you read online. Link and react.
Yesterday morning I read an article in the most recent issue of The Atlantic entitled “Papa Don’t Text.” (If you don’t read The Atlantic you should.) The article, written by linguist Deborah Fallows, broaches the subject of language, learning and the important role parents play in the development of children. Human interaction and the sheer number of words we’re exposed to as babies impact the rest of our lives in an unfathomable way. In short, it’s human interaction– and not Baby Einstein DVDs– that makes the biggest difference in our ability to learn language, and later on, be successful human beings. As it turns out, a child’s linguistic ability is a major determining factor in academic success.
As a writer, publicist and French major, words are very, very important to me. Proper grammar and complex syntactical structures provide me with deep happiness. We’re all stewards of language and should respect it; words have such great power! From literature to love letters, what we say matters just as much as how we say it. (So, if I correct your grammar, think of it as my way of showing love.)
I can trace my love of words, reading, writing (and my academic success– I was always on the Dean’s List in college) to one person: my mother. As a child, each night she and I would snuggle into bed and, surrounded by an audience of Beanie Babies, teddy bears and other stuffed animals, we would read together. Prior to learning to read myself, my mother would read to me. We would discuss the story, our favorite characters or which cat, Gold or Silver, we loved most in The Tapestry Cats, one of our favorite children’s books.
I can’t help but feel grateful to my mother for reading to me as a child; I always wanted one more story. Today, I suppose that I still do.