Then, when another seven-year-old came round for tea after school one day, I overheard the two of them, busy in the spaceship construction yard that used to be our living room, get into a linguistic thicket.
“Can you see any clippy bits?” my son asked his friend. The friend was flummoxed. “Do you mean handy bits?” he asked, pointing.
“Yes,” replied my boy. “Clippy bits.”
Of course! This language of Lego isn’t just something our family has invented; every Lego-building family must have its own vocabulary. And the words they use (mostly invented by the children, not the adults) are likely to be different every time. But how different? And what sort of words?
In a pre-Christmas poll last year of religious Christians with kids age 2 to 18, 78 percent said they’d bought DVDs of movies or TV shows for their teenagers, and 87 percent said they’d bought these for kids 13 and under. “However, one-quarter of those adults (26 percent) did not feel comfortable with the DVD products they bought.” Likewise for music CDs: “About six of 10 parents bought these discs for their kids, yet one out of every three of those parents (33 percent) had concerns about the content.” As for video games, 39 percent of the parents of pre-teens were concerned about the content of games they’d bought, as were 46 percent of parents of teens.