Sound squiggles

You know those little squiggles that are all over the place? You know the ones I mean. Let’s see, they’re on signs all the time. You see them on TV sometimes. Oh, oh, and there are almost always some squiggles next to the pictures in books. Anyway, it turns out that each and every one has its own sound.

Let me tell you how I learned this. D often wears shirts that have different squiggles on them. (M almost never does, for some reason. Guess it’s a D thing.) So this one time, he had on a shirt that had really big, blocky squiggles on it, so I started pointing to them. He got this excited look on his face and would make a sound each time I pointed to one, like this:

ME: (point)
D: See!
ME: (point)
D: Ell!
ME: (point)
D: Pee!
ME: (point)
D: Tee!
ME: (point point point point point really fast)
D: Letters! Letters! Letters!

I’m not really sure what that last one means. I think it means “fast pointing” or something rather than some squiggle. So anyway, now I point to the squiggles all the time, and he makes the sound that goes with that squiggle. Here’s some observations I’ve made about them:

1. Lots of them sound almost the same as each other. You can see that in the example above, and there are lots of other ones like that — dee and vee and bee and jee and so on.

2. Usually, it seems like the same sound stays associated with the same squiggle, but not always. And the faster I point, the less likely that D will make the same sound he did before for that squiggle.

3. The same sound can go with pretty different looking squiggles. Jee is a good example. There are two completely different squiggles that can make D say “jee.” Also, the same squiggle might show up on, say, a sign and a book, but look really different. Luckily, D seems to know them all. At least, I haven’t stumped him yet.


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