When I was very small, the worst word I knew was “hate.” I could get smacked for using it too freely or inappropriately. Later, I was taught the typical truism “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything.” Once I’d processed that by being required to sit in a chair and think about manners a few times, I then became confused about the difference between a comment and a compliment. I understood perfectly well what a compliment was, but a comment was a conundrum. Apparently a comment didn’t have to be complimentary. So to my tiny binary mind, this certainly meant that comments were not something that was good.

It’s toddler logic, like the time I asked Mom to name everything that began with the letter m. Hey, Mom begins with m doesn’t it? She must know everything else that begins with m then.