Last Saturday morning at work, I was teaching a little girl who was learning about synonyms. Her assignment was to match words that belong together, that have the same meaning, that are, well, synonyms.
Her word was build, and she could not find the matching word.
I looked at the assignment to see if I could help her out, and I was shocked to see that the matching word was - get this - erect.
She said, "I know what all the other words mean, but I don't know this one. What does it mean?"
"Well, let's see. Erect. Well, erect means... well, it means, like, um... when something stands up."
I could feel myself blushing. She was looking at me, blankly. Clearly, she needed more information.
"You know... um... erect means, well, when something stands up tall. I mean... let's see. Like a statue. You erect a statue. Or a building. You erect a building."
Oh, for crying out loud! Why can't I explain this like an adult? I'm not in fifth grade, for heaven's sake!
I finally gave in, in the name of all propriety. "It's the same as build. That's the answer."
Seriously, why couldn't they have given the word create? Or something just a bit less multiple in its meanings??