In this month’s Reader’s Digest there is an article titled “He spoke my language,” by Jesse Ren Marshall about how she, a writer, fell in love with and married a grammatically challenged guy, and it got me thinking about a certain writer who married a dyslexic malaprop.
I should have realized there was a problem early in our courtship when he didn’t know the meaning of the word sibling. Honestly, I can see someone not knowing it if they have only sisters or only brothers, but he had both! Why didn’t he know the word?
But even then, I didn’t question dating him.
Then I left for college and at one point, he sent me a nice “missing you” card, but don’t ask me what he wrote. His handwriting looked more like scribbles. Talk about illegible. During our next phone conversation I even told him it was illegible, to which he asked me what I meant.
And I found myself yet again defining a word for him. It became quite a regular occurrence to the point that when one day he used a word I’d never heard before. (My excuse is husband spent a lot of his growing up years in the great outdoors, and I was very much a city girl.) The word he used was rutting. And if you don’t know it, I’m going to assume you’ve never been out in the woods in the fall.
But I soon found his lack of vocabulary extended to the point of making up words. I mean he was a malaprop, occasionally using the wrong word, but he more frequently made up words. (Where he was concerned, translate dough not as don’t and provoding as provoking.)
On top of that he tended to start a sentence talking about one person, but by the end of the sentence, he was talking about someone totally different (often saying the opposite of what he started saying) making following a conversation with him difficult at times.
And, as he was also dyslexic, once we were married, I took on balancing our checkbook and doing all our correspondence. Over the years, I updated his resume, filled out applications, and wrote all our letters, only allowing him to sign when needed.
And I learned not to try and correct him. There was no use changing him, after all, he was a fantastic man.
I guess it’s just one more case of opposites attract.