Sound out the words

I’m forced to rely on Starbucks for Wi-Fi access temporarily. It’s not terribly inconvenient, but it’s not so bad. As a bonus, I’m enjoying a latté that I wouldn’t otherwise have. Another thing I like is the opportunity to people-watch.

There’s a nice man here with a young girl who I assume is his daughter. I’d estimate that she’s five years old, though I’m notoriously bad at estimating ages. They’re reading an exercise book in which she’s supposed to sound out the words. To his credit, dad explains what the words mean after she sounds them out. I doubt that’s part of the lesson, but I’d do the same thing because words without meanings aren’t much use.

They went through words like still, stub, spin, skip, and I was surprised that stab was among them. What I found even more interesting was stag. Dad described the meaning as going to a party alone, as in ‘going stag.’ I was amused because I wouldn’t have even thought of that usage. Not in that situation, anyway.

I was thinking about the male deer. Stag and doe, right? Well, I was also unknowingly thinking about parties because a quick check with Wikipedia told me that the most common labels for the male and female deer are buck and doe, respectively. But this varies with animal size, and regional dialect. The male and female members of larger deer family are sometimes referred to as stag and hind. It’s vague because deer are not an individual species, but rather a family.

The things one can learn from simply sounding out words and carrying it a step further!

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