de taal van je moeder

The language your mother used

Today, it is precisely 90 years ago that my mother was born. She passed away about 18 months ago, having lived an eventful, exciting, and fulfilling life. For me, she has always been a great example, and today I’ve posted this message on Facebook about her. However, I wish to address something else, based on my love and passion for words and language, and particularly since – for most of us – your mother has had an infinite influence on your use of language.

How does that affect you?

As a child, you haven’t really got an inkling as to what extent your mother influences your use of language and language skills. I got to pay more and more attention to that, though, from a young age. And, when I was 27years of age, I moved to England to work in the construction industry. Soon after, I discovered an aspect of language that surprised me: I could swear like a sailor – builder’s jargon, I called it. And the scope of builder’s jargon in English is infinitely more extensive than that in Dutch, I can assure you… Swearing meant nothing to me, I was simply adjusting to the language of men… or so I thought. Until one day, when it hit me that there was indeed a difference between swearing in Dutch and swearing in English. I felt no embarrassment swearing in English… yet, I did… to some extent… when swearing in Dutch… What did that mean? From that moment, I started paying more attention to what I said, and why I said what I said. First only verbally, but very shortly after that, also in the written form. I soon discovered that I had ‘borrowed’ a big part – or should I say a substantial part – of my words, phrases, and language from my Mum and my Dad. I wasn’t exactly happy about that, but I was certainly excited about this discovery. Now, I had a choice, you see. Part of my parent’s wording and language was fine to use, I thought. However, not all of it…

Making conscious choices

One thing I then started studying with great interest, was the language my mother was and had been using. She had been trained as a professional kindergarten teacher, and later as a primary school teacher, and later still as a maths teacher. Like no other, she knew how to communicate consciously. Only after I turned 30years did I realise that my Mum hardly ever used negating language… she would say “Saskia, please stop crying” rather than “Don’t cry, Saskia”. When I was really little, obviously… This attention to detail when it comes to wording & language I have been using all of my life. More and more consciously, at that. So, I am really curious to find out how you have experienced this, as the child of your Mum and Dad. Would you share that with me? I would be thrilled to hear that! For now, I am wishing you happy memories about your early years, and the influence your parents have had on your language. Have a look at how this has influenced your blogs and online content, to discover if you have unwittingly taken on your parents’ phrases. Would you like to write highly consciously?Then feel free to e-mail me using my contact form. I would be delighted to support you on your content journey for your business!

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