Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


In honor of Words Matter Week, I am prompted to write about the following: "Communication breaks down when words are misused. What is the funniest, most interesting, or worst break-down you’ve ever observed?"

Years Ago.
We finished dining at China First on University Way and were driving down 45th Street, when I was sure I heard my daughter say “Do you have any chopsticks?”
I thought it was a very peculiar request and said “No, I do not.”
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Of course I’m sure,” I said and went on to explain we had plenty at home in a drawer that Grandma had given us, some very old ones and a lot of new ones, too. “Why would I?”
“Because you always have some in your purse.” She was staring at me as if I had lost my mind.
I shook my head in disbelief. And turned to look at her.
“I always have some in my purse?” I was incredulous. "Did you take yours?"
“Mom,” she said. “What do you think I said?”
“You asked if I had any chopsticks.”
“I asked you if you had any chapstick,” she said with eyes wide, a gaping mouth and a slow shake of the head.
We both fell into a spell of laughter that forced me to pull to the side of the road.
Chapstick,” I sputtered, tears streaking down my face.
Chopsticks,” she said, wiping her eyes, launching into another round of guffaws.
Chopsticks/Chaptick turned into a family mini-legend. We try to have a sense of humor about the misery of hereditary hearing loss. Rarely does an episode pass, when one of us “mis-hears” that chopsticks aren’t mentioned.
Thank you for reading.


  1. What a delightful memory to share. What a difference a letter makes!

    Janice from NAIWE

  2. Hello. I surfed in from the Words Matter Week site. I like your story.

    And I must be related to you! I am constantly mishearing things, especially song lyrics. A couple good ones for me--these linguistically are called mondegreens (like "there's a bathroom on the right" versus the correct "there's a bad moon on the rise") are thinking a lyric is "eat my donuts!" (it's really "eat my diamonds") and thinking it's "She's so fun-ky now" rather than ("je sans frontier" from Peter Gabriel's "Games without Frontiers")!

    On another note, kids are so much fun. They come up with some of the funnest and most out-of-the-box words and phrases imaginable! : )

    Have a great day, and thanks for sharing!