Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

Way to Go, Adam!

Posted by Neal on June 28, 2004

A couple of weeks ago, the family and I went to visit an old friend of my wife’s. They had two daughters, call them Mary and Lydia, and Doug and Adam had a lot of fun playing with them. Adam in particular, was making a point of addressing the girls by name at every opportunity: “What are you doing, Mary?” “Hi, Lydia!”

At one point, Adam was sitting at the kitchen table eating a snack, when Lydia came walking in. My wife noticed that Lydia was carrying a little plastic dog, but Adam couldn’t see this from where he was. My wife said, “Oh, is that a little puppy dog?”

Adam said, “No, it’s Lydia.”

Once he could see what his mom had been referring to, he realized he’d made a joke, and we all laughed about it. I thought it was especially funny because it was just the kind of joke I might have made, even if I’d seen the toy in Lydia’s hand.

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