Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Not Personal

I was never good at learning new languages. I studied Spanish on and off and did a fair job of it, but never excelled. More recently, my quest has been Latin. Not only is it interesting, I will need to have it under my belt if I ever go on for a PhD or an STL. This summer I am going to work hard to at least try to catch up to my kids!
Now, however, I find I must become quickly fluent in "Grunt", the universal language of teens the world-over.

Grunt consists of sounds, such as "grunt", "huh", "mmph", and "hmmm". Grunt is not strictly a verbal language, however. In order to truly understand this language, one must also become well-versed in translating eye-rolling, shrugs, sighs, slumping, and door-slamming.

(I understand girls get a head start on the non-verbal portion of this language. I can remember my own days, so this makes a lot of sense.)

My eldest son is almost entirely fluent in this language. This child, who spoke early, who had the alphabet down cold by 18-months, who told his first joke at age 2, whose favorite game at 3 was to pick a letter and then name as many words as he could think of that began with that letter - this son has apparently gone beyond the need for mere human words and prefers Grunt to any other language.

Knowing Grunt usually indicates an intelligence superior to 75% of the planet (the other 25% knowing Grunt, of course). Grunt is the password to a world where it is clear you know far more about say, childbirth, than the woman who bore four children, including you (and not to mention you are a boy and will never in your life bear a child yourself). If you speak in Grunt, you show that the opinions of the world are simply that - opinions, and have no influence on the vast amount of knowledge you have spent 12 back-breaking years accumulating while watching Spongebob Squarepants and learning how to make awesome arm-farts!

If you meet someone who does speak Grunt, it is easy to feel offended. First, you may not understand what the heck they are saying. Second, they display signs of frustration if you do not bow to their superior knowledge.
If this happens to you, do not take offense. It really is not personal.
But then, you wouldn't understand....You never do.....sigh.....grunt....


Chris said...


texasmom said...


Maggie said...

*slight chin raise/head acknowledgement