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  • Cate Archer

Embrace and enjoy the elaboration of language...

Doug the Pug Therapy Dog loves receiving pug mail! 

And when a little person is so secure in their knowledge that we will love and adore all that they send us, we often receive things that illustrate how they have clearly used language they aren’t totally familiar with. 

Receiving a piece of written work from someone on their journey of learning, that contains a spelling error, shows us that they are elaborating on language usage and broadening their knowledge. 

If someone uses only the words they are secure in spelling correctly, they will limit the usage of words used. 

We heard the other day of someone who had wanted to use the word tarantula but hadn’t known how to spell it. She had asked her teacher - and her teacher told her ‘S P I D E R’. The child had said how she wanted to give her story a really really scary feel and thought ‘tarantula’ would make it feel much spookier. Her teacher clearly didn’t know how to spell tarantula either - and should have made it into a wonderful journey of learning together, without drawing ignorance to anyone. 

That child is now an assistant manager of Foyles book shop in Birmingham.  Her strength and determination, in becoming a happy wordsmith, thankfully wasn’t quashed. 

But for many young (or older) learners, confidence can be deflated so quickly often never to return. A sharp mark, from a bold red pen, has ruined the lives of many! 

When I was writing Doug’s book, ‘Doug the Pug - A Working Dog’s Tale’, it was suggested that the elaborative language I had used would be lost on young readers - so I put a decorative glossary on every page. I was also told that those less able readers, with learning differences, often came from a lower socioeconomic group and therefore the language wasn’t appropriate! 

Fancy having to say to anyone in the world of words that people from all backgrounds and cognitive abilities may have learning differences!

So, my lovelies, Doug the Pug Therapy Dog urges you to embrace and enjoy the lexicon that suits your conversation and challenge yourself and others to seek out new and unfamiliar words. 

And if, like a little one I know, you get it wrong and call someone ‘ingredient’ instead of ‘impertinent’, do what she did and say you will therefore make them into a pie!

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