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Recently a lot of strangers seem to be remarking on how tall Margaret is when they find out she is two. The fact is, though, that Margaret is exactly the average height for girls her age. I've been trying to figure out the reason for this discrepancy. Possibilities are:

(1) "Tall" may be considered a compliment, even for girls. In this case, the people who happen to think Margaret is tall may be saying it, while those who think she's short are keeping their mouths shut.

(2) Margaret may actually be taller than average for this area. Certainly it seems like the younger adults in the Cambridge/Somerville area are shorter than average, so perhaps the toddlers are too.

(3) Margaret looks taller than she really is. In this case, the question is why: does she stand up straighter, does her smile make her look bigger and taller, do her clothes emphasize height?

Probably the most likely is (1), the most boring explanation. It would be more interesting if it were (2) or (3), though.
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On September 14th, 2010 12:26 pm (UTC), dcltdw commented:
1A would be that it's a safe compliment, given that it's coming from strangers.
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On September 14th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC), enugent commented:
(4) Margaret is talking well enough that the strangers think she is older when they first encounter her. On finding out that they are wrong, they rationalize the misapprehension by believing that she is tall.
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On September 14th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC), psychohist replied:
I hadn't thought of that - good point. Margaret doesn't talk much to strangers, but in other ways she sometimes behaves like a slightly older toddler.
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