February 23, 2006

Ticonderoga code

Q. Shenaynay

I'm always fascinated by the odd and endearing shorthand that develops within a family and between close friends -- the easy code language that emerges from days and years of sharing context.

For example, yesterday Fa and I had to smile over the way we both know precisely what's going on when one of us, looking glazed and distracted, quietly asks the other:

"Quick, please bring me a sharp Ticonderoga."

It means "and please do it quietly and don't talk to me too much just now, because I've got a poem swimming in my head and I need to hear it and I can't hear your voice just now anyway and I need to get it on paper quickly before it flees, and I'd really like to write it with one of those really smooth, fine pencils with near-liquid lead that we save back for this sort of thing because they skate across paper so and I really want to enjoy the sweetness of rendering on paper these words I'm hearing."

But "please bring me a sharp Ticonderoga" is so much more efficient, not to mention more anticipatiously suspenseful for the pencil fetcher.


Anonymous said...

Yes, fmaily code talk, gotta like that. Please do post the poem that you wrote with the "Ticonderoga"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ah...code...now that is "a good thing." ;-)

Lady Godiva said...

that's the funny thing about mothers and daughters, really. the boys have no code with Sharonius. but somehow with just the dart of an eye, the nod of a head, and the most absurd phrase we communicate in volumes.