Stuffsoup – a little blog with a lot of "stuff"


Superlative as a whistle

Posted in parenting by stuffsoup on January 8, 2011

It is fascinating to me to watch the minds of my children piece things together. My 3-year-old son seems to be working out how this whole superlative thing works by trying out -est on the end of things he knows are somehow different, but he is unsure in what way. For example, he was putting things in a line (as he is wont to do) and as he was counting out “first, second…”, he only paused a split second before he said “three-est”. And, since he is the three-est kid in the house, I thought that sounded pretty good. (Oh, and I did let him know about the word third and fourth, etc.)

In the same fashion as kids tend to put -ed on the end of the past tense of any verb (even go), he also thought he’d try -est on front and back. In this, he was correctly using his newfound (and new) words, frontest and backest. This got me thinking about the whole phrase “furthest to the front (or back)”. I mean, really, why can’t we just say frontest and backest. I think I like that construct better, seems cleaner, even if it at first sounds funny.

My 5-year-old daughter on the other hand is working on similes. Her most favorite (or favoritest, as my son will no doubt stumble upon very soon) started out when I told her about “clean as a whistle”. Well, now everything is anything “as a whistle”… skin that’s soft as a whistle, funny as a whistle, and even I love you as a whistle. I just had no idea how very versatile whistles were, apparently. Again, I promise, I am providing some correction to this (and boy, have I rediscovered how very many similes there are for very many things).

I must say though that I am also enjoying the errors for their humor value. I just think they are the funniest as a whistle.

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