'Out of the mouths of babes'

SIR - While many recent, readers letters are understandably of doom and gloom, I d like to share something a little more light-hearted.We often hear the phrase, Out of the mouths of babes and this seems all the more appropriate when it comes to a chil

SIR - While many recent, readers' letters are understandably of doom and gloom, I'd like to share something a little more light-hearted.

We often hear the phrase, 'Out of the mouths of babes' and this seems all the more appropriate when it comes to a child's simplistic and often naïve interpretation of our confusing language and pronunciation.

My wife or I regularly walk our 10-year-old granddaughter from her school bus to her home while waiting for her mother to return from work.

However, she will frequently encourage us to take her to our home instead, often for some favourite tea and a bit of TV.


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Not that she ever needs to persuade us to any extreme, she recently asked jokingly: "If I torture nanny do you think she'd let me come back to yours, but I'll have to ask your permission first?"

I replied that I didn't think she really needed to torture her grandmother, but why did she have to ask my permission?

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"I'll have to go home first to get my torch," was the reply.

Not entirely sure what the intention was, but the mind boggles.

It caused me to reflect on a misinterpretation her own mother made when she was a child.

While lying on the floor with a colouring book she was obviously listening to the TV news at the time, which included a serious crime report. She suddenly turned from her book and asked: "Why do they only ever find a body, what happens to the arms and legs?"

A logical question given the diversity of such a basic word.

After a brief chuckle I had to admit rather embarrassingly that I'd asked my own parents that very same question and that's nearly 50 years ago.

Steve Tebbenham,

Wood Common, Hatfield.

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