Chuck, at the dinner table, is in conversation with Fiona, concerning a rather challenging 3-year-old we know:
“So M. is a little helper?” asks Chuck.
“No, the opposite,” explains Fiona.
“Oh, so M. is a big helper, then.”
Fiona looks puzzled for a second, then bursts out laughing. “No! The other opposite!” She keeps laughing for quite a while. Something can have two different opposites. How nifty! Her brain has just been tickled by a new concept.
Today, Sophie says to Fiona, incredulous over something she thinks Fiona has just said:
“So you prefer my hair tangled?”
Fiona corrects her: “No, your hair oppositely tangled preferred.” And giggles, knowing she’s used some pretty neat words and ideas, but that she’s totally mangled the sentence.
Language tickles Fiona’s funny bone.