Er…Uh…How To Confuse An Eight Year Old

posted by Momo Fali on November 24, 2007

My daughter was reading a book and asked, “Mom, what does the word er mean? This character says it all the time.”

I replied, “Well, it’s not really a word, but it’s used as a pause in conversation. Like, uh.”

“Oh. So should I replace all the er’s with uh’s?”

“No, they mean the same thing.”

“But, you said that er isn’t a word?”

“Neither is uh.”

Nothing like trying to explain the idiosyncrasies of the English language to your daughter, only to have her look at you like you’re speaking Greek.


  • Secret Agent Mama

    No doubt!! What book was she reading? My 8 year old daughter is currently reading Pippi Longstocking and loving it.

  • holly

    you two have 8 year olds? *i* have an 8 year old! let’s put them all together and have them fight it out to the death. or maybe they can just read together. that would work too, as that’s all mine really likes to do. but mine’s addicted to the kitten series and the fairy series. she wants nancy drew for christmas.

  • holly

    that had nothing to do with your post. i meant to say something really relevant, but i can’t now remember what that was. i’ll try harder in future…

  • Bec

    I loved Pippi Longstockings! (Sorry I have nothing to add to this conversation).

  • Corey~living and loving

    uhhhhhh what????? I don’t get it.


  • Genevieve Choate

    LOL. It’s great she’s reading. I remember reading ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Narnia’ at that age. Those were my favorites for years to come.

  • MommySpeak

    Ok sad thing is this post made me think of my coworkers! I work with alot of indian men and they use the word “Actually” as the filler instead of saying um or like etc. It’s kinda funny. In one meeting, one of the guys gave a presentation and in about five minutes he said actually 35 times. Could you tell I was bored with the topic. 🙂

  • Mama Zen

    That confused me, too!

  • terancedubya

    hee hee. Your readers are silly.


    In Bossy’s world, ‘Er’ is not only a word, it’s an entire Post.

  • newnorth

    hahaha err I mean uh, funny

  • meleah rebeccah

    um. er. huh?

  • ummmhello

    Oh the joys of explaining to your child why they must adhere to all grammar rules when writing, but someone who writes a book may take liberties with the English language. My son stopped reading a book bc they said “ain’t” one too many times and it “irritated” him!

  • Joeprah

    Huh? Wait, that isn’t a word either.

  • BusyDad

    Ha! Nothing like a kid’s questions to make us realize how little sense we adults really make.

  • Stephen

    Er…uh…I have nothing to, um, say. But…uh…never mind. 🙂

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