On January 11th, I posted on Facebook that Finley had officially spoken his first word: "blue" (pronounced "boo").
A fairly lively comment thread followed:
@Cousin Paul: Finley and "Blue" Ivy Carter are officially betrothed, but we're trying to keep it a secret from TMZ to avoid the paparazzi.
@Robert Gordon: Yes, "boo" does mean "baby" in certain circles. Among linguists, it's generally referred to AAVE, not Ebonics. On another note, aren't all rappers self-referential?
@Terry Hanzel: "Kind of Blue" -- I can only hope Finn's music tastes are so refined.
@Jody: FYI: Blowing a raspberry can be described phonetically as "an unvoiced linguolabio trill."
@Co-workers Carmella & David: I'm truly sorry. I tried to start with Green and White. I really did. See?
Finley, admiring an original colored pencil drawing
given to him by his Grandpa Louis Solomon.
@Mom: You asked for context. Why, you may ask, would Finley's first word be "blue"?
Well, a few weeks ago Finley became absolutely obsessed with a specific group of Christmas decorations put up in our living room. There are about a half-dozen blue items: vases, blown glass ornaments, etc. Whenever Finley saw them he would use body language to indicate that he wanted to be shown them, and we'd always say, "Do you want to see the blue things?" Before long, he started asking to see them by saying, "Boooooo! Booooo!"
We actually had a little ritual going: some he could only look at, but certain pieces we'd let him he'd touch with his finger, and others he'd shove into his mouth. His favorite "boo" thing was a lovely vase (made by my cousin Eric Kaufmann) because we would regularly try the Chad Goertz Test of Good Pottery* on it:
*The Chad Goertz Test of Good Pottery: if you voice weird noises into a piece of pottery and it sounds cool, then it's a good piece of pottery. Incidentally, Eric's vase passes with flying colors. (Chad Goertz was my closest high school pal and college roommate.)