Yesterday, as I exited the Frohnmayer Music Building, I heard a woman give her daughter an excellent lesson in etiquette.
“Melody,” she addressed her daughter, “don’t play with your saliva. It’s not nice.”
What regular Emily Post this woman is! Not only did she dole out some important advice, she modeled appropriate language use. Instead of the vulgar “spit” she referred to her daughter’s drool as the more scientific-sounding “saliva.”
The thing that I have not quite figured out is: how exactly was Melody “playing” with her saliva? I imagine something akin to pulling gum in a long string from one’s mouth, but that would be more like playing with phlegm. I am quite sure her mother would not approve of that either.