Despite the attempts by those who study the phenomenon to dress it up in jargon (“caretaker speech”), cutesiness (“motherese”), or TLAs (IDS/
I generally don’t tolerate computational linguists particularly well, but sometimes they manage to transfer a bit of sense from their more computational colleagues to their more linguistic colleagues, and vice versa. In this case they have transported a pithy aphorism used as an argument against commenting one’s code: “If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read.” The idea being that until you’ve done the work to understand a program on your own terms, you have no right to be mucking around with it.
Similarly, if you are going to seriously claim to take pride in your language and in your Language, you are going to have to make those babies work for it, so they will develop pride of mastery as well. (This statement applies equally to freshmen in Linguistics 101, but that’s another story.) Sure, your kid won’t talk as early as the Jones kid down the street, but your kid will be able to string a sentence together with more than two words, and that means something
And lest anyone rhetorically lament, “Think of the children!”
Babies babies baby baby babies, Baby!
I have to thank a very bullied bison from western New York for that final, compelling insight.