Tuesday, April 20, 2010

N is for Naiads

Naiads are fresh-water shrimps. Nymphs. They're fresh-water nymphs. (Dear fresh-water shrimp start-up: You're welcome.)

I thought for the longest time that it was the same word as "nads." (Hello: no brothers, uptight father.) By "a long time" I mean maybe 20 years or so. Blushed my way through Classics 101, I did, there in the back row trying not to look too closely at Greek statuary.

The problem runs in the family. The classic tentacles/testicles confusion was loosed upon Aunt Eileen's Christmas dinner in 1979. "Prix" is not pronounced the way you might think it is. The pen is mightier than the sword, no doubt, but that "e" gets. . . long. . . when you put it in front of "is." A certain elderly person who shall remain nameless confuses "shot" and "blow" in association with the word "wad." NO, IT DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME THING.

So I guess it was no surprise that Kid came home the other day with a terrible misconception about the Netherlands.

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