There is one thing that every new parent awaits eagerly – and that is the first word that comes out of your child’s mouth.
Every dad hopes it is something that vaguely resembles the word ‘dada’ and every mum hopes it vaguely resembles the word ‘mamma’.
I have two daughters and once words started coming out of their mouths no-one could stop them. They both now fit into the category known as chatterbox.
It’s interesting how, in today’s society, a lot of emphasis is put on children and their vocabulary. But in reality it’s actually really difficult for them not to learn new words and sentences.
They learn by imitation and they are hearing people talk all day every day in almost every situation.
Their young minds are processing the English language, whether it be from their parents, from strangers in the queue at the supermarket or from their favourite shows on telly.
Of course the language we use is English, but I’ve noticed that Americanisms have been sneaking into our vocabulary and are starting to be used by my eldest daughter, Caitlin.
It’s not just my daughter – as a society we are starting to use words and phrases more commonly used on the other side of the Atlantic.
Recently when I was in a well-known coffee shop I noticed the people in front of me in the queue were requesting their chosen beverage in a way more suited to the Central Perk coffee house in the TV show Friends.
Instead of ‘please may I have a medium coffee’, it was ‘can I get a regular coffee’, which in an American accent sounds quite cool but in an English accent sounds a tad impolite and insincere.
Television executives have started replacing a word that has been used here for decades with the American way of saying it.
When the advert comes on promoting the new series of The X Factor the word ‘series’ will be omitted for the word ‘season’.
When you watch trailers at the cinema they’ll announce the film is released in the ‘fall’ instead of ‘autumn’.
But of course languages evolve and shift as time moves on and they are decided on by the people that speak them.
Although I might wince when someone says ‘my bad’ instead of ‘my mistake’, it really doesn’t matter.
But for a reason for which I have no explanation, there is one American word that makes me more than wince when my daughter uses it, and that is the 26th letter of the alphabet.
It’s not helped by the constant TV adverts for the new Brad Pitt film World War Z.
It’s not pronounced ‘zee’, it’s pronounced ‘zed’!
I told you last month how I’d found an app for my smartphone and I recommend it be downloaded by every parent with young children.
When I was younger, a colouring-in book and some crayons would keep me occupied but it seems today’s children, and in particular my children, have higher expectations and technological needs that require satisfying.
The app is called Zoodles Kid Mode and it basically lets your children play with your smartphone without the need for supervision as they are locked into the app and cannot access any other part of your phone.
It lets them paint on your phone without the need for real life messy paint. They can also play games with well-known TV characters such as Barney the purple dinosaur and Dora the Explorer, and they can read too.
This is all without accidently calling your boss or changing your phone’s language to French.
But there is one thing the app doesn’t do – stop your child dropping your expensive phone on a concrete floor.
Use of my mobile requires super-vision again – back to square one.
Catch Warren on Heart’s Sunday morning show on 96.7 & 97.5 FM, 8am-noon.