Chewing on Grandma’s Teeth

This hopefully is our last post about my Grandma Neill’s teeth.

My Grandma had her teeth removed in her early thirties because they were “bad.” It’s been at least forty years since Grandma mentioned her teeth to me and I certainly cannot ask her about them now. It honestly was not a common topic of conversation.

A reader pointed out to me that Grandma could have had her teeth removed for cosmetic reasons, including horribly buck teeth, terrible alignment, etc. At first I dismissed the comment. Then I got to thinking about what Grandma actually said and I realized that I could not really remember her description of them–except that they were “bad.” She might have said they were “no good” or that they were “rotten.” Again I cannot really remember and all of those descriptions can be interpreted in several ways. How Grandma described her teeth was not one of those things that I thought worthy of immediately writing down.

But it got me to thinking about other words or terms that individuals have used to describe certain events to me. What other things could I have inferred incorrectly from someone’s use of a word or a phrase? In terms of my research, Grandma’s teeth and the reason they were pulled are inconsequential.

But are there other things I’ve inferred that are incorrect and where the impact on my research has been significant?

I’ll have to chew on that and see if there are conclusions that need some details flossed or brushed away.