As long as I can remember our mother has provided us three girls with ceaseless entertainment with her speech habits. She tends to mix up words when she’s tired, such as saying “button belly” instead of “belly button.” Us girls should have been exceptionally healthy when we were growing up because we had many a chuckle thanks to these types of oral oopsies.
In a truly humble fashion, Mom embraced her quirky habit. She even paid homage to her parents, the Weitzels, for passing it along to her by calling it The Weitzel Syndrome. My sisters and I, who also inherited it, have chosen to maintain this title for posterity.
As us kids have grown into adults I’ve discovered that there are many permutations of this syndrome. My favorite, “uh, what did I just say?” moment is when I think of two different ways to say something. Even though I consciously decide which way to say it, my brain is torn as to the proper answer so it combines them. For example, if I decide to say “maybe” instead of “possibly,” my overly creative brain will turn it into “mossibly.” Lovely, eh?
Another version is when I’ll say a similar but incorrect word, such as “cat feed” instead of “cat food.” This one plagues me the most because my ears are often in cahoots with my brain; I’ll hear what I meant to say rather than what I did say. Sigh.
Having thought for many years that perhaps our family was the sole victim of this syndrome, I’ve kept it quiet, not wanting to tout our seeming incapacities to the world. As of today, though, I will be silent no longer because I discovered that there are others who have displayed a similar
behavior in most unfortunate circumstances. My family’s verbal blunders pale in comparison to such public displays of syndromic expressions.
Hear this world – us Zuber women are proud to state that we have The Weitzel Syndrome. We have created much joy and laughter in the world because of it and are pleased to help make the people around us a little bit healthier every day. So that have!