Re-ordering our bookshelves yesterday, my son and I discovered a Dr. Seuss book I don't remember buying for him. Oh Say Can You Say is like Fox in Socks, in that the books are essentially a series of increasingly more complex tongue-twisters.
I have to confess that I've never had any problems in reading aloud either book. I don't stumble or mix up the words but then I'm not a 5-10 year old. There's no reason for this flush of pride that I can see creeping up my cheeks.
On the other hand, I noticed that though I didn't disgrace myself, I did have the teeniest problem with the chapter titled 'Fritz Food'. For those of you who don't know, this is how it ends:
"I'm a Fred-fed Fritz,
Fred's a Fritz-fed Fred."
And this in turn reminded me that I am supposed to have routinely substituted an 's' for an 'f' when I was a kid. (This is not something I remember by myself-it constitutes one of those memories that you think are yours only because someone's re-told something so many times to you.) Most especially, I used to say 'san' for 'fan' but have no memory - it not having been reinforced - of saying 'sather' or 'suppose I sought with you today, does it mean we are kattis sorever?'
I also don't remember that second 'f's were a problem. Which means I most certainly did not say 'sulsilled' though it is not clear whether I said 'sulfilled' instead (as in, 'Amma, I have fulfilled the bucket'.*)
We all have our fumbles with the language, and it's all fascinating.
All of this caused a friend to wonder if I did the reverse - substitute an 'f' for an 's': 'Fing a Fong os Fixfence".
No, I didn't! That totally sucks, don't you think?
*This is true and it is not cute, though I admit I may have put it in just so someone can say it, in which case I might - though only secretly - curl my lip a bit.)