Thursday, July 20, 2006

Howler

This morning the kids watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie in which a character pretended to be a werewolf.

Chana (7): What's a werewolf?

Me: It's a pretend character where a man becomes a wolf, but only at night during a full moon.

Chana: Oh, so that's why it's called a werewolf - because it wears off.

4 comments:

PsychoToddler said...

THERE wolf!

THERE castle!

trn said...

In Latin class my first year of high school, etymology was an important component of the instruction. For each unit, we would examine English words that had derived from the Latin vocabulary we had learned for that unit, using English-language dictionaries.

I will never forget when Peter, at the end of what must have been our first such research session, after the dictionaries had been put away and the class had come back together as one, asked our teacher whether vir, which means man and was one of our first vocabulary words, was also responsible for werewolf.

Now, the words we had studied that came from vir were much more direct and obvious derivations, such as virtue. I don't believe we had examined any that did not contain the same three letters as the original Latin word.

Our teacher looked at him, impressed and curious. Then she instructed, "Get out the Rolls Royce!" The students on the other side of the class, near where the dictionaries were stored, took out and passed up to the teacher the "Rolls Royce" -- the one higher-quality dictionary that contained the best etymology information and was reserved for special cases.

Our teacher opened the volume, looked up werewolf, and read aloud the entry, which referred to an entry in another section of the reference book. She turned to that section and read aloud that entry. As she read the very end of the pertinent information, and we learned that Peter's theory was correct, she looked up at him, in amazement. Then, the class spontaneously burst into unprecedented applause.

Ralphie said...

trn - wow. sounds like Peter's the Man.

trn said...

Ralphie,

He was a nice, unassuming fellow.

Thank you for the opportunity to share the story.