Friday, January 16, 2009

Kids Who Love Obama

The NYtimes did a great piece today on letters from children (ages 6 to 12) to president-elect (until Tuesday!!) Barack Obama.

Left: "Dear Barack Obama, you look too skinny", from Below, a letter from Holly.

Dear President/Mr. Obama,

The best thing about living in the White House would be running around like a maniac. The thing I would like least is the work.

— Holly Wong, age 9, San Francisco

So, so adorable and really, quite interesting. Kids are just so endearingly smart and simple-stated. I'm currently reading The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker, and the majority of the first chapter is centered around first language acquisition and how children inherently know how to speak English grammatically correct. And he points out many times, that when a child says something that seems to simply be a babble of words stuck together, there is actually massive intelligence behind what they are saying

i.e. - "I don't want it because I spilled it of orange juice."

Technically, the sentence is fine, based on all of the grammatical rules a child would have inferred from hearing other people speak. We just have come to accept a sentence (semantic construction like this) to sound off and that it is not acceptable to us.

Hopefully, this isn't just me being a linguistics dork :)

Can't wait for Tuesday!!

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