ByMarika Seigel

Marika Seigel is the author of The Rhetoric of Pregnancy and Expecting: A Brief History of Pregnancy Advice, both with the University of Chicago Press. She is currently living in Tartu, Estonia with her family, where she teaches at the University of Tartu and blogs about her adventures in language and parenting at

  1. Today, my son Indrek was supposed to bring a candle and two hardboiled eggs to school for an art project. In his school planner, he had written “pikk küünal,” which means “long candle,” so I’d bought a long, white taper candle. When I double-checked his school’s messaging system this morning before school, however, the teacher had written that students should bring a “piklik küünal,” which, as far as I know, means “oblong candle.” Shit, I thought…