'Good stopping' 'nice walking'

(43 Posts)
princessx Sat 23-Feb-13 15:33:50

Am I the only one to shudder when I hear this new way of praising children? It's not grammatically correct is it?

Should you really say: 'well done, you stopped at the appropriate place.'?

Any thoughts?

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 15:39:33

How many small children would stop & listen to 'well done, you stopped at the appropriate place.'?

I work with children with severe communication problems... they are much like big toddlers. We use key words & brief phrases... if you say 'Good boy,' it is meaningless -they don't necessarily know what they did to make them a good boy.

If you say, 'Good stopping,' then they know they have stopped & that was what was asked. So, next time you say 'stop' they should remember what to do.

I am pedantic about lots of things but this doesn't bother me. I think it is important to be specific.

Seriously?

I quite like pedants corner, but this is a bit ridiculous.

princessx Sat 23-Feb-13 15:45:43

What about: 'well done - you stopped'?

I agree though, best to help the child

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 15:59:17

Because 'well done' doesn't mean anything. If they stopped when you asked then they did good stopping surely? Like good listening and good sitting... it's about being positive, isn't it?

insancerre Sat 23-Feb-13 16:04:06

I agree with grockle- I also work with children and am a pedant too. But always use 'good walking' 'good sharing', 'good listening' etc.
I am talking to children after all.

EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 16:06:05

because when you have a child with the sort of issues as DD, too many words cause more problems?

Pagwatch Sat 23-Feb-13 16:08:05

Can I just say - without wanting to divert your point about children in general - I have to use this with ds as he as little functional language and, whilst it sounds awful, it makes sense to him as it is logical. It echos how he uses the few words he understands.

I also have to deliver the praise with a thumbs up so I feel even more of a twat [sigh]

EstherRancid Sat 23-Feb-13 16:10:43

grin

Pag we use the thumbs up too, i feel like Rolf Harris in the old '70s swimming ads

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 16:11:51

Pag, don't feel like a twat! I often sign 'thank you' to cars that stop and let me cross the road. I forget that not everybody knows wtf I am doing. My friend thought I was blowing a kiss blush

Pagwatch Sat 23-Feb-13 16:13:32

Hahaha at Rolf Harris.

It's just awful isn't it. I spend half my time thinking 'shoot me now'.

Pagwatch Sat 23-Feb-13 16:14:47

You are brave Grockle - car drivers and hand gestures is a recipe for disaster grin

ShatnersBassoon Sat 23-Feb-13 16:25:32

Necessity compels. Clarity is often more important than grammatical correctness.

MrsShrek3 Sat 23-Feb-13 16:29:45

It's not new, we've been doing it in SEN specific educational settings for 20 years. "good listening", ""good waiting" etc are not actually incorrect in their construction, and communicates clearly to children/young people who have 1 or 2 ICW understanding.

BackforGood Sat 23-Feb-13 16:49:47

What Grockle said. It's developed from SULP groups and other similar things which were developed to use with children with communication difficulties, and often learning difficulties. You have to use as few words as is necessary to get your meaning acorss, and you have to be very specific with your instruction/request /praise.

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 16:51:42

grin

It's not bravery so much as an automatic reaction! I am sure people see me signing randomly & think I am the one with special needs. No-one ever tells me 'good listening' etc though sad

ByTheWay1 Sat 23-Feb-13 16:52:56

Why would "nice walking" not be correct - they are walking nicely, their walking is nice..... nobody is claiming it to be a complete sentence - merely an exclamation.... like "Good question..."

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 16:55:37

<shrugs>

I'm off to do some good sitting.

princessx Sat 23-Feb-13 22:00:51

Thanks for your responses. I knew it was recommended for children now, and it sounds like it's been properly researched to help learning. And I wasn't suggesting people shouldn't use it, I just wondered if it was actually grammatically correct. Thinking about it some more I don't think it is correct, I think we say you're good at listening / walking / dancing etc.

I'm not saying people should change what they say to children, I was just trying to work out what was wrong with it.

MrsShrek3 Sat 23-Feb-13 22:06:24

sigh. princessx take a look at gerund and construction, and then figure out if it's "wrong".

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Feb-13 22:08:00

Why is it not grammatically correct? 'Walking' is a gerund there and 'good' is the adjective - it's a simple statement but it is complete. 'You're good at walking' is adding a subject but why is it 'better' grammar? What do you think is wrong with 'Good walking'. (Don't mean to sound at all narky, I'm genuinely intrigued).

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Feb-13 22:08:55

X-post MrsShrek!

MrsShrek3 Sat 23-Feb-13 22:09:53

pmsl, same point too grin
proper pedants sign in wink

Lollydaydream Sat 23-Feb-13 22:10:10

* No-one ever tells me 'good listening' etc though*
My dd1 is older now but 'good listening' etc (with obligatory thumbs up) is ingrained in my speech with her and dd2. Now dd1's speech is better I get told 'you're not doing good listening mummy' if I get what she's saying wrong.

tigerdriverII Sat 23-Feb-13 22:12:19

Besides being appropriate in the situations described it is grammatically correct. "Sitting" is a noun in this sense, so "good sitting" is absolutely fine. I think if you studied Latin you might find we are talking about the ablative absolute. We don't have that in English, but this construct works.

<<hopes someone more knowledgeable will come along soon>>

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 22:17:07

grin

MrsShrek3 Sat 23-Feb-13 22:17:49

tiger, the gerund is the nearest we have in English. Agree it works so much better in Latin - from the pov of being simpler to explain at least! grin (actually, did I really just say that?)

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Feb-13 22:22:42

Reminds me when DD had a poem for homework where she had to underline all the verbs.

The poem contained not one main verb but lots and lots of gerunds. <sigh>

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 22:28:20

<whispers... I don't know what a gerund is blush>

munchkinmaster Sat 23-Feb-13 22:33:25

I suppose if you substituted another adjective ( e.g. excellent or pitiful) the construction would sound fine so grammatically it's okay but just sounds naff rather than wrong.

Whilst I understand such phrasing is very helpful for small children and those with limited receptive language, I think it's the Americanness which makes people itch a bit.

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Feb-13 22:33:31

When DD had her homework problems, practically none of the British-educated parents (or teachers) knew what a gerund was and all the non-native English speakers did. We're not usually taught English grammar in that way, or at least, my generation (40-something) wasn't.

It's a verbal noun ie, a verbal form that functions as a noun - always ends in '-ing' eg,

Smoking is bad for your health.
The whistling of the kettle.

Lollydaydream Sat 23-Feb-13 22:34:18

A verbal noun; we don't use them much in English, which is probably why the op finds 'good sitting' etc sounds odd.
Awaits correction; it's a bit scary posting in pedants' corner.

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Feb-13 22:36:08

I still don't see what's wrong with it or why it should be American - it's just an adjective + noun. Why is it different to eg, 'Nice dress!' Or 'lovely weather'. Is it the brevity you object to?

MrsShrek3 Sat 23-Feb-13 22:36:48
SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 23-Feb-13 23:13:11

As others have said, it is grammatically correct; it just sounds a bit unusual, and nothing wrong in that; language evolves and changes to meet needs. FWIW, it is not a construction in common use in the US, either.

It's a gerund rather than a present participle, innit? It's just that in English gerunds and present participles look the same. I suppose that "Your stopping is good" or "Your listening is good" would be more technically correct, but there's no need to get sniffy about the ingishness of the construction.

Grockle Sun 24-Feb-13 03:45:46

Only on mumsnet!

grin

munchkinmaster Sun 24-Feb-13 07:33:23

It feels American to me as much of the positive parenting materials which use this construction are from the US. That may be just my experience though.

Goodwordguide Sun 24-Feb-13 09:28:49

Interesting - I hadn't associated it with parenting language in particular.

giraffesCantFlipPancakes Sun 24-Feb-13 09:33:26

Better than "fuckin STOP you wee shit!".

Pagwatch Sun 24-Feb-13 09:34:13

I love this thread.
I don't understand chunks of it,yet I love it.

grin

Pagwatch Sun 24-Feb-13 09:37:08

I remember when we had the DSs bedroom painted and DS2 almost immediately wrote his name in huge letters across the wall.
He had never written his name unprompted before so DH and I gave him a great big thumbs up and "good writing name!".
Ds1 just stood there looking at us with 'you're fucking kidding me!" etched across his little face.

grin

Goodwordguide Sun 24-Feb-13 09:38:53

grin pag

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