New words germinate and bring forth new ideas, and they are the stuff out of which heaven and earth are made

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The impulse to tell is the important thing

May 16, 1887

I ask all her friends to encourage her to tell them of her doings, and to manifest as much curiosity and pleasure in her little adventures as they possibly can. This gratifies the child’s love of approbation and keeps up her interest in things. This is the basis of real intercourse. She makes many mistakes, of course, twists words and phrases, puts the cart before the horse, and gets herself into hopeless tangles of nouns and verbs; but so does the hearing child. I am sure these difficulties will take care of themselves. The impulse to tell is the important thing. I supply a word here and there, sometimes a sentence, and suggest something which she has omitted or forgotten. Thus her vocabulary grows apace, and the new words germinate and bring forth new ideas; and they are the stuff out of which heaven and earth are made.

one of Annie Sullivan’s letters about Helen Keller, written to Sophia C. Hopkins
from The Story of My Life
by Helen Keller, John Albert Macy, Annie Sullivan

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