The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tiarnan coins a neologism

Yesterday, Tiarnan faced me, whilst in my arms. He was, therefore, quite close to me. I spoke, though, as I usually did.

He looked at me with an appraising focus.

"Daddy, today you are very soundy."

Soundy, he had said - a word I had never heard before, but the meaning of which was instantly clear: LOUD. I was speaking too loudly for one so close.

"I am too loud.", I said, giving the words another might use. However, I must say, I much prefer his own word: it is new, fresh and altogether meaningful.

Hearing him invent this word, reminded me of how creative some young children are. Here, Tiarnan solved the problem of communicating exactly what he meant, by inventing the word that perfectly expressed it. An older child, or an adult, most probably would not do that: they would use a combination of words known to all. Thus, in a way, growing up could be seen as becoming less creative, in communication, at least - and more likely to go with conventional ways of expressing oneself. I rather hope, though, that Tiarnan retains his creative ways, and makes a habit of inventing his own words, just when he needs them. It is both sweet and endearing, and altogether more interesting than just using the same tired old words everyone else uses.

So, Tiarnan, carry on neologizing. As for you, my boy, you are pretty soundy, yourself, much of the time. (cue screeching kid.)

Here's a thought, though: if the word "soundy" catches on, it would be strange to realize that it had been coined by a four year old, to describe the effect of his dad speaking whilst being too close for comfort. How funny!

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
Syahidah's IMDB listing is at

Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:16 PM 


Blogger teacherlet said...

that's quite cute. haha, hope you're having fun raising your boy and staying in malaysia! :]

5:08 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes. It was cute.

I do enjoy being a father...they make me smile sometimes (my boys).

As for Malaysia: we like it here and are having fun. It is a positive experience in general, so far. Thanks.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's so sweet! Thank you for sharing this story, Valentine.

I like this word. It has a nice 'ring' to it. ;-)

Most people and objects are much too "soundy" for my poor ears. :-)

Kind regards,

7:19 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I am glad you like it Maria. I am fond of the word, too.

Best wishes

10:06 AM  

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