Stuff and Things

This morning, after I’d asked him for the third time to take care of his “stuff” that was in the family room, Justone informed me that one if his teachers does not allow the children in her classroom to use the words “stuff” or “thing”.  (Apparently, precision in language is extremely important to her.)  Aloud, I responded with a thoughtful, “Hmmmm,” to this information, but inwardly, I had to wonder:

“What kind of lengthy word lists would I have to verbalize if I needed to eliminate the words “stuff” and “things” from my vocabulary?

Some examples:

“Bionic Man, when you come home tonight, we need to talk about some things  which one of us is going to attend the middle school orchestra concert while the other one attends den meeting, whether or not we should sign Justone up for hockey, and figure out if we have finished our Christmas shopping.”

“Superkid, I’m about to vacuum in here.  Will you please pick up Hunter’s stuff shredded blanket, chew toy, unstuffed Snoopy dog, chewed up yogurt container, chewed up paper cup, chewed up tissue, Snoopy stuffing, and favorite washcloth?”

“Justone, what is this thing wadded up collection of lint that smells strongly of old peanut butter and sweaty gym socks in the back of your closet?”

Obviously, less is more.  All mothers in favor of keeping the words “stuff” and “thing” in their vocabulary, cast your vote now.  And then we can all go do some stuff about another thing.

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