Friday 9th October 2009

When did it become acceptable to say ‘comfy’ when you mean comfortable? I was thinking about it the other night. It struck me as add that by contrast you don’t say ‘uncomfy’. It seems that if your feeling is a negative one then you have to be more formal about expressing it than if it is a good thing you’re saying. It’s interesting in the dog world, we don’t have an equivalent of your slang or regional speech. With us, a woof is definitely a woof and a howl is absolutely a howl. We need to be clear so that we can communicate with unknown animals at some distance in any situation. It also struck me that ours is a language in the oral tradition. We have never seen the need to write the woofs down so that we can pass them on to our puppies in written form. We do pass stories on through the generations, but we do this through the spoken rather than the written word.

It all just goes to increase my fascination with human languages. Perhaps I should write the reverse scenario to Dr Dolittle. Instead of having a man that can talk to animals, I could assign the role to an animal that has learnt to translate for the human. Oh sure, it’s easy to understand a cat. They’re usually just saying things like ‘I’m better than you’ and ‘leave me alone can’t you see I’m busy’ but wouldn’t it be great to have your dog translate what every animal around you was saying. The mice could let you know when they’d run out of cheese and the spiders could ask you to leave specific cobwebs untouched because they’re still using them.

You know what’s the most scary? I had all these thoughts just from thinking that comfy is an abbreviation of comfortable!