Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A to Z and Tuesday Coffee Chat: Dumb and Dummy

Rory Bore at Ink Interrupted hosts the Tuesday Coffee Chat, and this week she discusses, Sticks and Stones:  What words make you feel the worst about yourself?  What words make you feel the best?

Dummy.  That's the word i wanted to avoid at all costs.  To be called dumb, to not get an A, to miss one spelling word, to get a 99% instead of a 100%, the words accompanied by spankings would come, and i would be told, again, that i wasn't smart, i was dumb.

How could i miss that word, that question, that anything!  How could i be so dumb!

It drove me to try to learn, to try to read more, to try to study harder, and it drives me still.

That's the word i cannot stand to be called.  It brings back several memories, all bad.

Yes, i know, the adult in my life who did that to me as a child was a seriously wounded person and wanted me to do better, and didn't know how to go about encouraging improvement in a non-damaging way.  It's been forgiven, that person is much loved and has changed (and gotten sober) since then, but some damage never really goes away.

Never, not once, did i ever use that word with my children.  In fact, even when working with Bigger Girl's learning disabilities, i did everything i could to make sure she knew she could succeed, that she was smart.

It doesn't take a lot of special words to make me feel good.  A smile, a pleasant, "Good morning," a bit of chat about the day, telling me what's going on in your world, all of them can make me feel happy, like i've connected with someone.

The nice words that come up every day, given with a smile, are what i like to give and receive.

It only takes one word to make me feel bad, and to this day if it's said, a part of me thinks i deserve it and that it was said to put me back in my place.

Please think twice before you tell anyone, anywhere, that he or she is dumb or a dummy, no matter what.  Yes, everyone makes a bone-headed move once in a while, that doesn't mean you have to use that word.  You don't know the damage it might do.

Today is:

Babu Jagivan Ram's Birthday -- Andhra Pradesh, India

Bell Bottoms Day -- remember those? apparently so did someone who wanted to celebrate the fact

Easter Island Day -- anniversary of the "discovery" of the Island in 1722, on Easter Sunday of that year

Fringe Fairies Welcome Party -- Fairy Calendar

Global Day of Action on Military Spending -- sponsored by by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), this year a two week campaign 

Go for Broke Day -- take a risk, and make it count!  step out and do something extraordinary; anniversary of the day in 1945 that a US Army unit made up of almost all Japanese-Americans, the 442nd Regimental, went for broke and managed to break through the Nazi Gothic line in Italy in one day

Lady Luck Day -- in honor of the Roman festival of Fortune held each year on this date

National Caramel Day

National Deep Dish Pizza Day -- anniversary of the day in 1979 that Uno Chicago Grill, originator of the deep dish pizza, first opened a restaurant outside the Chicago area

National Raisin and Spice Bar Day

Nones of April -- Ancient Roman Calendar; also
     Fortuna Publica -- festival of Fortune in her role as the Luck of the People

Saint Vincent Ferrer's Day (Patron of brick makers, builders, construction workers, pavement workers, plumbers, tile makers; of Calamonaci, Italy; Casteltermini, Agrigento, Italy; Leganes, Philippines)

Sikmogil -- South Korea (Arbor Day)

Sun 'n Fun International Fly in & Expo -- Lakeland, Florida, US (preserving and enhancing the future of flight; through Sunday)

Anniversary Today:

John Rolfe marries Pocahontas, 1614

Birthdays Today:

Mike McCready, 1966
Greg Mathis, 1960
Anthony Horowitz, 1955
Mitch Pileggi, 1952
Agnetha Faltskog, 1950
Max Gail, 1943
Michael Moriarty, 1942
Judith A. Resnik, 1949
Colin Powell, 1937
Frank Gorshin, 1934
Roger Corman, 1926
Gale Storm, 1921
Gregory Peck, 1916
Bette Davis, 1908
Spencer Tracy, 1900
Booker T. Washington, 1856
Joseph Lister, 1827
Elihu Yale, 1649

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Secret Garden"(Musical), 1991
"Married . . . with Children"(TV), 1987
"Secret Agent"(TV), 1961
"Fireside Theatre"(TV), 1949
"Pavane pour une infante défunte"(Ravel piano solo, Pavane for a Dead Princess), 1902
"Die Fledermaus"(Operetta), 1874
The Symphony No. 2 in D major(Beethoven Op. 36), 1803

Today in History:

St. Patrick returns to Ireland as a missionary bishop, 456
Two hundred Dutch noblemen petition to have the Spanish Inquisition suspended in the Netherlands, 1566
The Daimyo (Lord) of the Satsuma Domain in southern Kyushu, Japan, completes his successful invasion of the Ryukyu Kingdom in Okinawa, 1609
The Native American Indian princess Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, marries Englishman John Rolfe, 1614
Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island, 1722
The first recorded meteorite in Scotland falls in Possil, 1804
Helen Keller learns her first word, "water," from Anne Sullivan, 1887
The Greco-Turkish War, also called "Thirty Days' War", is declared between Greece and the Ottoman Empire, 1897
Archaeologists in Knossos, Crete, discover a large cache of clay tablets with hieroglyphic writing in a script they call Linear B, 1900
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company begins production of balloon-tires, 1923
In an act of civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi breaks British law after marching to the sea and making salt, 1930
In the Dominion of Newfoundland, 10,000 rioters seize the Colonial Building leading to the end of self-government, 1932
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death for espionage, 1951
Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister of the UK because of failing health, 1955
Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada is destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time, 1958
In Japan, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshu, the largest suspension bridge in the world, opens, 1998
North Korea launches its controversial Kwangmyongsong-2 rocket, 2009
SkyNews admits it illegally hacked emails that belonged to members of the public on two separate occasions, 2012


  1. you are far from dumb. you are a precious gift, never doubt that dear.

  2. A better lesson than Dr. Phil!

    Fortunately, all my children are much smarter than me...I? See what I mean.

  3. I think you're brilliant and always have. You're right about words. They can be so very powerful. They can be so very hurtful. Or they can empower.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  4. Ha! Bell bottoms. I know people who saved theirs and guess what .... they are worth buckoo bucks today.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings.

    D is for Daydreaming and Downloads
    Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

  5. My husband has a saying that he uses, 'dumb as dirt' when the kids do something totally against commonsense. They consider it a badge of honor. I guess it's all in the delivery of the term but I would never call a child 'dumb' and mean it.
    Susan Says

  6. I agree with you 1,000%. I don't call my kids dumb but your post has sparked me to take inventory of any other words I use that could potentially be hurting them without my realizing it. Earlier today I was praying and asking God to help make me a better mother. Your post is an answer to that prayer.

  7. So much truth in this, words can and do hurt, especially children. And it takes so little in the way of positive words to make any of us feel good. I recently told a supervisor that it would be so nice to hear "good job" just once in awhile. I don't think it ever occurred to her that we need that, instead of just "corrective" criticism.

  8. You make an excellent point. Young egos bruise so easily. I was called a lot of bad things growing up, but I've never been called dumb.

  9. So sorry for what happened in your past - and it's a great reminder to us all. Sometimes words slip past your tongue without a thought to the damage. I used the phrase "acting like idiots" once - it was just a phrase I had heard myself all the time and usually - well, you kinda did something to deserve it. But my kids immediately said "that's not a nice feeling word mommy!" And it really made me stop and think about the little phrases we grow up with and don't give much thought too. I mean, my kids were spraying the garden hose all over the back deck and it was coming into the house - the floor was sopping; but... I know now for those times I can find a better phrase.

  10. We banned the word stupid in our house. I don't like that one either. Words have a huge impact.

    Weekends in Maine


  11. What an awful way to treat a child. I'm sorry about your childhood experiences. I was a precocious child so I wasn't called dumb or stupid, but my aunts were always criticizing me for my tomboy ways.

    When my youngest daughter was born, her 4 year old sister would only refer to her as stupid baby, refusing to use her name. It took about a year to break of this and luckily it didn't affect the baby.

    My daughters are now millennials and one word they call each other is nigga. It's, "Get out of bed, nigga," and "Hurry up, nigga." They tell me it's common usage around young people, but I still warn them that word usage has repercussions.

  12. My parents forbid me to use the term dumb for anyone or anything. They even said there is no dumb questions, (I still debate that one occasionally, but I get the idea.) I am saddened that anyone has had to be subjected to that...


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