Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't ‘kiss off’ Osculation

It’s odd that I have to rely on movies to teach me vocabulary these days. Usually films have words that I have heard before especially when people are mad and cussing at me. But today I saw an old Capra movie, “Arsenic and Old Lace”. This film is adapted from a play in 1944 so maybe that is why it was not automatically ‘scrubbed’ of all challenging language like films of today. At one point in the film, a cabbie remarks ‘his cab has seen a lot of osculation (the act of kissing) before’.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not some snob who wants to watch every movie with a remote ready to pause in one hand and a dictionary in the other. No, general release movies SHOULD be for entertainment first and foremost. But I also don’t think they need to be ‘dumbed down’ or devoid of any positive educational benefits either. What’s wrong with learning a couple of new words along with how to hot wire a car for your two hour investment of time?

I ran into a similar problem at a preschool many years ago. The general philosophy was that kids prior to 5 years of age should have absolutely NO structured learning whatsoever. Their main goal was to learn socialization skills and simply fill time with normal preschool activities like coloring, painting, or playing with others. Absolutely nothing wrong with that EXCEPT, is it too much to ask to color a letter ‘A’ and a picture of an apple instead of random scribbles on white paper. Again, I never expected ‘language’ lessons or rigorous teaching for these youngsters. I just felt the kids might WILLINGLY pick up a few things in their normal activities if given a few prompts from the school.

So even though I had to pull out that dusty dictionary today, I didn’t mind it too much. Any opportunity to learn something … anything, is good for me and hopefully my vocabulary. The key to learning, is to use what you learn in your everyday life and repeat what you learned over and over again. I’m not exactly sure when I will get a chance to repetitively use ‘osculation’ anytime soon – my wife is out of town for a few days!

1 comment:

  1. You told us your wife was an aviatrix, right?
    Behave while she's away or you might learn the feeling of being osculated by an airplane propeller. Causes "Twisty-Lip Syndrome."