Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thanks for the Mama-Mammaries...

Today's confession, for those who haven't figured it out already... I'm a major geek. My head is literally chock-full of tons of random, insignificant trivia. I just didn't realize how much useless crap was crammed in there, until this past Christmas, when someone gave me, 'The Book of Totally Useless Information'.

About an hour after everyone opened their gifts, someone picked it up and started to read bits of trivia from it, out loud. That's when two really sad things occurred. The first 'sad' thing being that I discovered I already knew most of it, and the second, ( and perhaps even sadder bit ), was that I then felt utterly compelled to dispute or elaborate on each and every one of them. :^/

Fortunately, thankfully, I stopped myself when I noticed the growing silence around me. And believe me, I don't think for a single minute, it was out of any kind of awe, either. I think these people were thinking exactly what I would've been, if I were them.

Wow. Why would anyone want to know all of that useless crap???!!!

But it's not like I study this stuff or anything. I swear. It just gets stuck in my head. Alright yes, I do probably look up more things on google than most people. And yes, embarrassing as it is to admit, my favorite childhood bedtime reading material was, indeed, sigh, the World Book Encyclopedia. ( I even had favorite volumes. 'B' was always a goodie, lol. )

UBER-geek!!! :^/

Sooooo, you may be wondering, if I find all of this so sad and embarrassing, why am I openly admitting it here, like this?

Sigh. Because the other day someone left that annoying, 'Useless Info' book lying around the house, and idiot-moi just couldn't help myself. I looked at it. And now, having read something absolutely inane in it, I have no one to whine to about it. ( My family, as you can probably guess, tunes me out on such things, most of the time, lol. )

So, that's where you come in. Lucky you. ;^)

Anyway, this is what that ridiculous book says , more or less: "The word 'mama' originally comes from the word 'mammary', as in the 'mammary glands'. " ( For those of you who may not know, the mammary glands are a woman's breasts. )

Puh-lease!!! If that's the case, then every baby ever born on this planet, is an even bigger geek than I am, lol. Can't you just hear all those wee babies thinking to themselves, "Hmmm. She has big mammaries. I think I'll nickname her, 'Mama'." LOL.

No, if anything, it's the other way around, and 'mammary', obviously comes from the word, 'mama'.

So, if they're wrong, ( and they are ), then where does the word, 'mama' come from?

The word, 'mama' comes from one of the first utterances made by all human infants. There's a reason that 'mama', or some variation on the 'ma' sound, represents 'mother' in almost every language on the planet. One of the first sounds a baby makes, if not the first, is the 'm' sound. It's an extremely primitive sound that occurs directly as a result of nursing or oral stimulation. Mmmmmm. The sound of pleasure. ( Even now, as adults, we still equate this sound with it. ) And for a baby, a full belly is one of the most pleasurable of all his or her experiences. Therefore, this sound is most likely to occur in it's mother's arms, during a feeding. And what happens when baby is making this sound and the mother removes the bottle, or the breast? Or if the baby is vocalising and smacking his or her lips together for more? Mah. Or more often, 'mah mah mah' in a string of syllables. This, of course, gets immediately reinforced by the delighted mother. "Baby just said, 'Mama!' ". Thus, baby learns, very quickly, uttering 'mah mah mah mah mah' , gets the mother's joyful attention and brings all the wonderful comforts that go with it. In other words, 'mah-mah' rapidly becomes the sound forever associated with the person who makes baby feel good.

And, if you've stuck with me 'til this point, I will offer this to you, as well. 'Nuh', or the 'n' sound, ( as opposed to 'm' ), is the universal sound of displeasure. Why? Because it physically breaks suction with the nipple and pushes it away, with the tongue. 'Nuh' says, at the most primal level, 'I don't want this. ' ... But, if uttering it still fails to send the signal that a feeding is definately not wanted, it is then followed by the baby's head repeatedly turning away from it... mostly moving the head from side to side...

Bet you can guess which universal word comes from that. ;^)

So there you go. My strong belief that it was babies who actually gave humankind, our very first 'words'.

Mmmmm. ;^P

I feel soooooooooooo much better now that I've gotten that off my mammaries. ;^)

-Marlene :^D

1 comment:

Austin said...

Hi! Just ran across your blog about mammaries and mama. I have marveled at the universality of some language sounds. The "no" head shake theory was new to me and so obviously correct that it required no other proof. Thank you!

Austin in DC