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Do you correct other children's improper language?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
OK, before I put this out there... I'm not perfect! You'll see that I'm an English teacher by my sig, but I can speak as casually as the next person and I certainly don't judge people by their speech. Little things grate on me, sure, but I'm generally pretty chill about speech.

Alright, that all being said:

DD is five and regularly plays with a neighbor girl who will be five sometime later this year (in other words, DD is going to kindy and neighbor is going to pre-K). DD is very articulate, and I'm not super-worried that NG's usage is going to rub off on her. But, NG is also very verbal, and her usage is starting to drive me batty! Essentially it's mis-use of "she" and "her," especially when talking about our baby. She says things like "Her's got such cute feet!"

So, is this developmental normal for this age, and DD just never went through it? Can I and should I correct her? Seriously, I know it's petty, but it drives me nuts.

And yes, it's a slow morning.
post #2 of 51
No, I don't correct kids' language (well I might slip now and then but I try not to). It's rude.

Before I had ds, I would have corrected them by saying it right. But it really hurt my ds's feelings when people did that. And he learned so nicely without being corrected. Of course, your neighbor girl may not pick up proper grammar as quickly if she isn't hearing it at home. Correcting her might even make her feel like you are criticizing her family, if she thinks about it.
post #3 of 51
With my own kids I will usually parrot back to them (conversationally), but with the right word. So in this situation I'd say, "oh yes! She does have cute feet."

Occassionally I do correct my kids, but I do that more for when they say the opposite word like "that's too small" but they mean too big (and I know I should really just let it go, but it drives me nuts!).

Tjej
post #4 of 51
Yes.

I don't suppose I really have any reason, but I expect language to be used properly in our home... within reason. I don't nitpick but if one of dd's friends said something along the lines of 'her does xyz' I would probably say, 'yes, she does xyz.' If it was repeated, I would probably let it go, but there are no guarantees.

I was brought up in a family where proper grammar was expected. Corrections weren't a big deal, and while I have learned to be more informal, it took a long time and it still less comfortable for me. I believe that a child needs to learn the proper way to use language before they can learn to 'bend the rules'.
post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
So, is this developmental normal for this age, and DD just never went through it?
Yes, I think so. I have a DS and a DD. DD always spoke with correct grammar. Even as a baby she never mixed up she/her/he/him.... at 18 months she would say "she has very cute feet", or she would not say anything at all. My DS had more normal development and would have said "her has very cute foots". Both DS and DD speak fine now. So I would say it is absolutely personality dependent. And imo, I would not correct another child over something so petty. I'd keep my annoyance to myself.
post #6 of 51
Do I correct other people's children? Nope, not unless I'm asked to.

Do I correct my own son? YES! I usually parrot back to him the correct way or explain the grammar rule.
post #7 of 51
Depends on how old the child is. We have a neighbor girl (just turned 5) who made that same error (and similar errors, often) and I did parrot back the correct usage once.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post
With my own kids I will usually parrot back to them (conversationally), but with the right word. So in this situation I'd say, "oh yes! She does have cute feet."
I do this with my kids and other peoples' kids. I don't think, put in that way, that it would/could be taken as a criticism - just a normal type of comment that happens to function as a reminder of the correct word/way of saying something.
post #9 of 51
No, I don't correct other people's kids' language. I do parrot back to my own kid, as others have said.
post #10 of 51
Nope, not my job. And I don't correct my kids either because the research shows that it does very little good. If they get correct input, they'll get there eventually. Correction just mostly makes them insecure and confuses them (because we don't do it all the time).

Heck my students today were lamenting that they didn't know whether the response to "How are you?" should be "I'm good" or "I'm well" because they'd been corrected too many times. (It's good, by the way, unless you're talking about health.) My kids easily use adverbial forms in the right spots because I do.

If it's a matter of a socially preferred way of saying things (i.e. you sound more educated if you say 'John and I' rather than "me and John"), then I'll explain that rule when they start to write. But I'd rather have my kids say "me and John" than the hypercorrect "between John and I" because they were corrected too often as a child and so now have hang-ups.
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
If it's a matter of a socially preferred way of saying things (i.e. you sound more educated if you say 'John and I' rather than "me and John"), then I'll explain that rule when they start to write. But I'd rather have my kids say "me and John" than the hypercorrect "between John and I" because they were corrected too often as a child and so now have hang-ups.
I think this is a rule, rather than social preferences. I learned the proper way to determine how to say these things is to remove the "and John".

So, if you would say "I went shopping" ... you would say "John and I went shopping".

If you would say "John bought this for me" you would say "John bought this for me and Susie".

As for the OP ... I do the parroting thing... not a strict correction per se. Kids have to hear it correctly, and often, so that they know what is right.

What kills me is ADULTS who use words incorrectly. I can't correct them, and parroting is clearly rude with grown ups. BIL says "I seen that show" .... ARGH!!!!
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

Heck my students today were lamenting that they didn't know whether the response to "How are you?" should be "I'm good" or "I'm well" because they'd been corrected too many times. (It's good, by the way, unless you're talking about health.) My kids easily use adverbial forms in the right spots because I do.
OT, but really? I thought "How are you?" *was* an enquiry after the person's health. Which would make the correct response "I'm well.", assuming they were. "I'm good." is more of a self-assessment their moral rectitude surely. We had a friend who would say "God is good, you are well." as a kind of reminder for the correct response.
post #13 of 51
Definitely not. It's not my place, and for all I know the child could have speech difficulties that she's working on with a therapist. My hypercorrection could lead her to feel even more self-conscious than she may already feel. And yes, it would be rude.

I might think it in my head though .

I also feel very annoyed when someone refers to her child as a disease or disorder, rather than saying her child HAS a disease or disorder ("My son is ADD"). Drives me crazy. If your child had cancer would you say your child is cancer? No.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post
OT, but really? I thought "How are you?" *was* an inquiry after the person's health. Which would make the correct response "I'm well.", assuming they were. "I'm good." is more of a self-assessment their moral rectitude surely. We had a friend who would say "God is good, you are well." as a kind of reminder for the correct response.
"I'm good" is correct. There's a good explanation of it here.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post
OT, but really? I thought "How are you?" *was* an enquiry after the person's health. Which would make the correct response "I'm well.", assuming they were. "I'm good." is more of a self-assessment their moral rectitude surely. We had a friend who would say "God is good, you are well." as a kind of reminder for the correct response.
Geez. If there's a "correct response" then why ask the question? Just answer it yourself. (not you personally).
post #16 of 51
I don't, usually. It doesn't bother me if it's normal for the age, and if they're behind for their age, chances are, me correcting them won't fix anything permanently. But one thing does bother me. Back when I used to lifeguard, kids would ask "how MUCH laps do I have to do?" (to go in the deep end) and I would parrot back "how MANY laps?" lol. Most kids didn't catch it. "Yep, how much laps?" they would say... lol.
Oh well.
post #17 of 51
No. That would be really rude and presumptuous. I'd be a bit annoyed if someone did that to my child.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
Essentially it's mis-use of "she" and "her," especially when talking about our baby. She says things like "Her's got such cute feet!"
It's possible it's developmental in nature....or, she could be just using "baby talk" that she picked up from someone.

I have in-laws in the mid-west and cousins down South who intentionally mix up pronouns when talking to infants. My cousin will snuggle her baby and say "Him loves him's Mommy..." I could totally see her saying "Him's got such cute feets!" And, um....she's well-educated. I think it's just a regional thing.
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
I think this is a rule, rather than social preferences. I learned the proper way to determine how to say these things is to remove the "and John".

So, if you would say "I went shopping" ... you would say "John and I went shopping".

If you would say "John bought this for me" you would say "John bought this for me and Susie".
Ah, but it's a 'rule' that's only really enforced in academic contexts. Yes, the rule should prescriptively be "John and I" as subject because you use "I" as the subject, and "John and me" in object contexts because me is an object. However, colloquially (descriptively), in informal spoken language "me and John" is accepted in many contexts. But, many adults were told so often not to say "me and..." that they no longer know when to use what and they over correct.

Thus, I will not correct it until my kids are old enough to think metalinguistically and reliably identify subject and object. Right now, my kids don't have to speak in a formal register.

Sorry, OP a much longer answer than you really wanted. But the linguist in me feels the need to point out that if we're 'correcting' grammar, we should be clear on why and whose standard we're correcting it toward. A lot of 'rules' of language were literally made up by self-appointed pundits throughout the century. Probably no one corrects their child to say "That might could work.." when they say "That might be able to work.." yet there are dialects where "might could" is not only acceptable, but preferred. So, why don't you do it that way? (Prestige, of course.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post
OT, but really? I thought "How are you?" *was* an enquiry after the person's health. Which would make the correct response "I'm well.", assuming they were. "I'm good." is more of a self-assessment their moral rectitude surely. We had a friend who would say "God is good, you are well." as a kind of reminder for the correct response.
But my whole point is not that there's a 'correct' answer (an argument could be made for either), but that by correcting our children, we make them doubt their own feel for the language. I don't care which one you say (though heaven help you if you write "between you and I" in my class). And personally, I just avoid the issue by saying "fine" .
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Ah, but it's a 'rule' that's only really enforced in academic contexts. Yes, the rule should prescriptively be "John and I" as subject because you use "I" as the subject, and "John and me" in object contexts because me is an object. However, colloquially (descriptively), in informal spoken language "me and John" is accepted in many contexts. But, many adults were told so often not to say "me and..." that they no longer know when to use what and they over correct.

Thus, I will not correct it until my kids are old enough to think metalinguistically and reliably identify subject and object. Right now, my kids don't have to speak in a formal register.

Sorry, OP a much longer answer than you really wanted. But the linguist in me feels the need to point out that if we're 'correcting' grammar, we should be clear on why and whose standard we're correcting it toward. A lot of 'rules' of language were literally made up by self-appointed pundits throughout the century. Probably no one corrects their child to say "That might could work.." when they say "That might be able to work.." yet there are dialects where "might could" is not only acceptable, but preferred. So, why don't you do it that way? (Prestige, of course.)


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I also have to wonder when folks get all "the correct RULES of grammar" whether they have the same feelings about their non-native languages. For instances do you believe that only Parisian French is proper and Canadian French is improper or do see dialectical differences and in different places people speak the same language differently?

People are often very uncomfortable with the different dialects of their native language and feel that the language of power is the only correct and proper form, but are more willing and able to accept dialectal differences in languages they are not fluent in.
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