Thursday, 14 February 2013

I speak Luke

I speak Luke
14 February 2013

Luke has a very special language all of his own.  It know it might sound peculiar, but it’s true.  And not unlike when he was little and he babbled as a toddler, I do believe that I am one of the few people that understand him.

In fact, I don’t like bragging and blowing my own horn, but I am in fact tri-lingual.  I speak Afrikaans, English and a little known language called, Luke.

Apart from the grunting and mumbling he does (I believe it’s a teenage thing), the few words and sentences he uses, don’t always mean what they appear to mean.  Words are not to be interpreted at face value alone, as they are rarely meant to convey their conventional meanings. 

But before I get to that, more about the mumbling and grunting.  The mumbling nearly drives me batty.  He has a very deep voice and his vocal range, pitch and frequency, is clearly just off my audible range and hence I am guessing that a lot is lost in translation between the two of us.  The grunting on the other hand, mainly consists of a variation of “hmm”, “hmmmmm”, “uh” and “uhuh”.  As well as a combo of the aforementioned.  A delightfully new grunt I do believe he has invented himself.  One that goes like this:  “uhuhmmmmm”.  Such a talented boy!  Gifted, I tell you!

But back to the few words at his disposal.  His alarmingly limited vocabulary is indeed rather alarming.  I know he is capable of more words.  I taught them to him myself.  Furthermore, I spent years reading to him.  Some of his favourite books I still know off by heart and can quote in its entirety due to reading them to him so often.  And therefore chances are, he can quote them too. 

His answer to 99% of all questions asked of him is “I don’t know”.  But luckily I am not so easily fooled.  Only if he is in fact 100% sure or convinced of his answer will he in fact say “yes” or “no”.  The whole “I don’t know” thing is also a wonderful avoidance technique.  And he uses it to prevent incriminating himself. 

But does “I don’t know” really mean he doesn’t know?  Of course not.  It is like an elaborate and intricate secret code that only I have the code to unravel and unlock.

For instance, if I ask him "Do you love me?", then his answer will simply always be "I don't know". Now we both know he loves me, but it’s really uncool in his teenage opinion to admit to loving his mother.  So here "I don't know" clearly means yes.  If I ask him, “do you like my new sweater”, for example, then he will also say "I don't know".  And then if the new sweater I’m wearing is something passable and not garishly hideous, then it usually means yes.  But if I'm for instance exposing my flabby midriff or wearing an uncool sweater, then it usually means no.

In a way he speaks this way as a courtesy to me and to avoid hurting my feelings.  My rule of thumb is normally this.  Whatever I think he really means, albeit yes or no, I'm usually right.

So if I ask him if he has a girlfriend and he says "no" then he really doesn't have one.  But if his reply to my question is "I don't know" then he has one indeed.

And what with today being the universal day of love, it begged of me to ask the obvious question. "So did you get something for Valentine's Day?".  And because he obviously did receive something and was embarrassed, he answered "I don't know".  To which I replied, "So these gifts you never received, were they nice and did you eat all of the chocolates already?".  To which he replied "I don't know".

So I'm assuming they were delicious. 


  1. I recall the frustration!
    It is really hard to figure out all the nuances.
    But this too will pass.