The Ruark Kids



Thalia might have a future in cricket (which would make her daddy exceedingly pleased).

As we read certain books, like Museum ABC, that have lots of pictures of different objects, she has begun to point at things (which she used to do) and say, “Whazzat?” Asking what something is is new just in the past few weeks. (She has also started asking “Why?” to certain statements, which is amusing because who knows what she can understand of answers to that kind of causal analysis.)

Museum ABC in particular is funny because each page says something like “N is for Nose” and on the facing page shows four works of art that demonstrate the object, in this case four noses. Our dialog goes like this:

Daddy: N is for Nose.

Thalia: Whazzat? (Pointing at one nose)

Daddy: A nose.

Thalia: Whazzat? (at another)

Daddy: A nose.

Thalia: Whazzat? (at the third)

Daddy: That’s a nose.

Thalia: Whazzat? (at the final one)

Daddy: And another nose.

And the cricket? Whazzat is very close to “Howzat,” which is an abbreviated form of a cricketer’s appeal to an umpire, “How was that?” (See, for example,

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