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He told us a lack of pies.

Ouch! I hit my bunny phone!

I promise I won’t tell. I will lip my zips.

Oops. If this kind of twisting of words has happened to you, you are not alone! Sometimes our minds work more quickly than our mouths, and we unintentionally switch the initial sounds in words and create what is often a humorous phrase. These slips of the tongue are called spoonerisms. In a spoonerism, when the “sounds in words” are swapped, you are witnessing an example of the transposition of “phonemes.”

Many logophiles (word lovers) enjoy intentionally creating spoonerisms. Check out this set of upside-down, spoonerism fairytales produced by “Colonel Stoopnagle” in the 1930s-1940s: http://www.fun-with-words.com/spoonerisms.html.

Even a favorite children’s author, Shel Silverstein, has written a spoonerism poetry book called Runny Babbit.

If your child has dyslexia, Stoopnagle’s fairytales and Runny Babbit will likely not be bedtime favorites, and certainly playing a competitive spoonerism game during the holidays will NOT be met with enthusiasm.

However, considering spoonerisms does give one an appreciation for what a phoneme is and how we can generate a multitude of words simply by manipulating phonemes.

Can you see why researchers have found that phonemic awareness is essential in the reading process?

Learn more at from an article written by Wesley A. Hoover, Ph.D entitled “The Importance of Phonemic Awareness in Learning to Read”:  https://sedl.org/pubs/sedl-letter/v14n03/3.html or go to https://ga.dyslexiaida.org/topics-library/ and scroll down to the heading “Phonemic Awareness, …”

#readingresearch #phonemes #idageorgia #untileveryonecanread #languageplay #wordsplay #spoonerisms