When the sauce becomes too saucy in my home or when onion turns too onion(y), I have come to realise the pattern with time. These word associations become gradual integration into our everyday linguistics. They may sound ridiculous, interesting, or funny maybe, but we sure cannot ignore them. My 9-year-old English enthusiast is so addicted to these random word bifurcations. this is almost like his play dough these days to mould into any shape and form. It has become a regular topic of quite an interesting dinner conversation in our family of 3. Yesterday when he tried asparagus for the first time, his mental wheels took the expected turn and he blurted out his disapproval of the vegetable by saying, “this asparagus is too asparagus(sy)!” We burst out with amusement at his association with the words ‘to’ and ‘…sy’. He was so proud of his invention and was ready to repeat it throughout that we realised it was something that gave him happiness because it made him relevant, in the conversation that is almost always getting weak because of the age gap between us as parents and him as a child. But come to think of it, it is so interesting how we associate verbally with the root words for describing our emotions towards an object in question. But to expand on this thought there must be a reason behind this pattern because I am sure we all must have observed something like this at some point in our lives irrespective of age or gender.
I agree that when we choose a particular word and decide it is worth giving our attention to, we in our mind mostly end up looking for their associations. We unconsciously bring a part of our emotions while doing that. Whether we appreciate or negate or simply want to bring attention to our response to that word stimulus, it turns into churning up or another associative creation of a new word that brings its sense of interest and impression with it. Mostly as users of the root word we come up with the new word supplement by starting it with the root word and ending it by adding our creative suffix. There comes our individualism and creativity in it along with our impression of the root word at that moment. The emotionality involved and evolved due to it makes it more unique and worth discussing! The fun that it brings with its usage and reference may seem strange but in fact, is strong proof of the extent of expansion the human brain is capable of. Makes us realise that people, in general, link their thoughts, expressions, emotions and relatability with these new formations, unconsciously to bring some sense of strength and weightage to their behaviour.
So when the youngest brain in my family decides to give his thoughtful association with the word ‘asparagus’, I realise he might be falling short of a word to describe his feeling towards it, but on the same level, he is trying hard to pick his brain and come up with a witty yet associative word that helps him establish himself as a worthy of being treated as a serious member of our close-knit group of onservationists. I feel in a way quite proud of the fact that he tries to break that entry door by letting us know in his innocent way that he is fully capable of having a witty yet engaging dining table conversation with brooding adults sitting with him. And yes, was he proud of his coinage? Indeed, for I can now see him on a roll towards his weird yet quite intriguing everyday vocabulary that is his own! Each day comes with a new surprise and the wilderness to create this personal verbal dictionary is like power to him to show all present that we need to take him seriously. The language checker in me wants to pull my brain out with my hair because what he is doing is ideally not correct as far as the traditional language goes. But the rebel in me is so happy for I feel contended that he has found his small way to express what he can’t as a youngster.
If Carl Jung was sitting with my son, probably he would muse over a cup of coffee and consider his test to identify a 9-year-old small Thesaurus and his brain spills. Maybe my son’s subconscious is in a way strong enough to control his will and his usage of one word can bring out his internal aspirations, conflicts, and thoughts. Perhaps when he finds his own words and relates them with the existing ones, he is in a way trying to dump and bare his emotions and reflections and mood in front of us. Now the ball is in my court as a parent to appreciate his interpretation of emotions through his word usage! Be it, adults or children, words are a powerful medium to express thoughts and ideas. When we create our own and take the existing ones to another level, we need to understand the gravity of this need that makes us search for new words that can express us further and deeper. In a way, we have given these added suffixes enough power to become an addition to our existing personalities. They sometimes define us as individuals and make us unique in our existence.
People remember us as who we are by the way we use our words and churn out sentences made of selective specific words. So, an innocent use of a deliberate extra letter sometimes says a lot about someone’s personality and mind. That someone may be baring their soul without even realizing. They may want us to remember them because of what they are due to what they do. When we put our thinking caps on to churn out these small additions to our existing vocab, we are also in a way bringing out personality traits for others to reflect upon and perhaps appreciate the uniqueness that we find in ourselves. Hence people, next time someone’s cheese is too cheesy or the asparagus becomes asparagusy for that matter too coriander(ful), laugh all you want for it sure sounds intriguing and unique, but just listen and respond longer to that call behind the cheesiness of it!