The Amazing family and I enjoy watching movies. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to enjoy an evening together and were watching a movie where one of the main characters could not speak, i.e. a mute. Mr Amazing and The Pep began having a conversation about the character and how he was incapable of producing speech due to the fact that he had his tongue cut out. (We were watching G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, what can I say.) When Pep addressed Snake Eyes, the mute, he referred to him as dumb. Mr Amazing responded by explaining to the Pep that Snake Eyes was not dumb, as in stupid, and was far from it. The Pep insisted that Snake Eyes was dumb.
By the time they went back and forth at least five times, Mr Amazing began getting a little upset. He told the Pep that people who cannot speak should be referred to as mute and clearly not dumb. Then summed up the conversation by asking the Pep if he understood why. Looking away, the Pep responded by saying “yes”. (obviously, the desired response of Mr Amazing’s.) This satisfied the conversation, so the Pep got up and went off to another room in the house.
When he re-entered, he was holding his copy of The American Heritage Dictionary. Opened to page 266, the Pep points to the 3rd definition of “dumb”> adjective:
1. Stupid; silly.
2. Unintentional: dumb luck.
3. Lacking the power or faculty of speech: a dumb animal.
4. Temporarily speechless, as with shock or fear.
“See”, the Pep says, Snake Eyes is dumb and not in the same as it means stupid. Mr Amazing and I looked at each other.
The Pep continues to explain, “have you ever read the book by E.B. White, ‘Trumpet of the Swan’? You know, the author who wrote Charlotte’s Web. Well, the story is about a trumpeter swan who was born dumb. Not dumb meaning stupid, but dumb meaning not able to speak. Even though the trumpeter swan (Louis), learned to read and write so he could communicate with other swans, he was still considered dumb by the other swans because they could not read or write but they could all speak.”
“What the heck is going on in my world”, says Mr Amazing.
I pulled out a $5.00 bill from my wallet and handed it to the Pep as a reward. Not only did he hear his Dad out, he did it with respect and then very nicely busts out his dictionary to plea his case. (Never once did he say I told you so, he just smiled! Gosh, I Love this Kid!)
Of course, Mr Amazing clarified why “mute” was the better choice of word to use rather than “dumb”. The Pep agreed.
The Pep is truly amazing! I should mention that he just recently discovered an “error” in his 3rd grade American History book.
Stay tuned for Wonderlandhwy’s next post, Future Mr President of the USA!