Almanac Life: Kids and the language instinct



Kids are still going pretty well. Mixing up the days. Inside time. Yard time. Lunch in the beaut sunshine. Still lots of chatting.  Lots of doing. Lots of being.


This was a conversation that made me laugh and says something of how young’uns understand language:


Me: What does corona mean?
Evie: Daaa-aad. It’s a virus.
Me: Yes. But what does the word mean, the actual word corona?
Evie: Nnnnn-er-nnn (kidspeak for ‘I don’t know’- it’s like ‘versing’)
Me: Well what word can you hear in it?
Anna: Coro.
Me (hand gesture inviting them to expand coro, like it’s charades)
Anna: Coronation
Me: Yes. Yes. So what’s the verb from coronation.
Evie: What?
Me: The action word.
Evie: Nnnn-er-nn.
Me: What’s a coronation?
Evie: It’s when princesses are princessed.
Me: (Laughing)
Theo: (who has had one ear on the conversation): No, Evie, it’s when princesses are queened.
Me: So what do you reckon a corona might be? What does a queen wear?
Evie: A crown.
Theo: It’s actually the outer part of the sun.



About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Stephen Blanchard Nuske says

    Thanks for this post jth……a simple one but a beauty….how the years have gone by…..and ‘lots of being’……

  2. Wonderful. We have all flown too close to the sun. My favourite legend.

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Lucky kids, to have a dad who cares about language. Onya, John.

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