The Decipherists: Top eee!

When I was a kid, I used to read the funny papers every morning. I loved “Garfield” (for some reason), as well as “The Far Side” and a few others. There was a brief period when I followed “Rose is Rose,” which was a light-hearted strip about a couple and their new baby.

Here’s why, from Wikipedia: From the comic’s debut in 1984 until the strip published on 9 August 1991, the character of Pasquale spoke only in a ‘phonetic baby talk.’

It was fun to try and decipher what the kid in the strip was saying, kind of like when I was in high school and helped my friend decipher Rush lyrics. It was a game. Now, suddenly, my life is like that comic strip, except it’s a little less fun.

And hopefully my son’s baby talk phase won’t last seven years.

This week’s Decipherists entry concerns one of my kid’s more annoying, and currently ubiquitous, new phrases. I don’t think I ever saw this in “Rose is Rose” – it’s a little too real for a comic strip.

Phrase: Top eee
Part of speech: Command
Definition: Stop it
Sentence: “Top eee! Top eee! Top eee, Daddy!”

“Top eee!” is really just a variation on the “no” he loves so much. On one hand, it’s nice to see him expanding his vocabulary, on the other it’s very frustrating that every other thing he says these days is some other version of “no!”

Every new parent knows they’re gonna need to curb their cursing as their kid gets older but many of us learn far too late that it’s the seemingly innocuous everyday words that can cause more issues. These kids are sponges, and the more you tell your son “no” or “stop it” or things of that nature, the sooner he’ll pick them up and use them against you.

The trick is to avoid those kinds of phrases, lest you find yourself awash in them. Like us.

It’s too late to go back in time and remove the “stop it” and “no” from our vocabulary, but we’re doing our best to use less negative terminology with our son in the hopes that future annoyances can be avoided. We want to increase his vocabulary, but the last thing we need is to give him more ammo in the coming Discipline Wars.

I guess I’d better stop quoting movies all the time too. While it would undoubtedly be impressive to hear a two-year-old recite Kevin Spacey’s monologue from Se7en, it might be just a tad disconcerting.


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