“Paws” 4 thought

SW-Avatar  Just stop for one moment Mr Midnight and repeat what you´ve just said!  But slowly this time. I didn´t quite understand you.

MM-Avatar  I asked, “Are you feline alright Sir Winston cause if you are, you can come to the pawty with me and my mates tonight.  You don´t have to wear a bell around your neck or anything and  there are no drinks containing  a high alcohol purcentage. However, there is plenty  of milk  to go round. 🙂  There´s even Greek yogurt Sir Winston!  You know how much you love to do your bit to help save the Greek human beings in their economic crisis. 🙂

The evening will be purfect!

SW-Avatar  Well I´m not so sure Mr Midnight.   I don´t think I really fit in with your crowd.  You´re all now speaking this strange new street language and even  “Wild Cat” from down the road is trying out new “french-cat” accents –  I mean; “pawly vous francais?”.  Where is it all going to end?

It all sounds ridiculous to  my ears.

MM-Avatar  You have cat  to be kitten me right meow!

We´re all “pawlayin”   the new language, that´s what it´s all about!  We´re all fashionable  cats, that is, apart from you Sir Winston.  Just get with it Sir Winston and get some pawsitive cattitude.  It´s wonderfurl  when you´re in the in-crowd!

SW-Avatar  I´m sorry Mr Midnight, I think I´ll give it a miss if you don´t mind.  I´m not so keen on the way you all  “hash” our language.   It´s a catastrophe.

MM-Avatar  You see Sir Winston.  That´s not too bad!.  Your word choice is not purfect but at least you attempted to speak our jargon.

SW-Avatar  Mr Midnight; the word “catastrophe”  is a normal word. You do not even notice the difference anymore.

MM-Avatar  Purrhaps you´re right Sir Winston – I might not notice the difference  but at least I´m still a cool cat!  Look at my freaky furstyle. It´s furbulous!

SW-Avatar  What´s so cool about acting the same as everybody else?

That´s what  humans usually do. Most of them tend to  copy one another and they avoid trying to discover who they really are.

I can´t see any real sense in doing that Mr Midnight. I want to be who I am and not have to feel that I must  imitate “anothers song” just so that I may  “fit-in”  with  my surroundings.

Whatever happened to originality and individuality?

MM-Avatar  It´s too much like hard work Sir Winston. 🙂

It´s easier to just  slip  into the “in-crowd”;  but if I´m not careful and dance to their tune, they may kick meowt of the “club”.

SW-Avatar  Your “friends” seem to be a nice clowder of cats!  As long as you behave as is expected, you are allowed to be “in their club” and appear to be cool.  That´s suppossed to be a recipe for happiness?

There  seems to be little  difference between humans and modern cats.  You all go about your ways copying one another, and not necessarily understanding why you´re doing,  what you´re doing.

Should we not occasionally, pause for thought?  There doesn´t appear to be much time for self-analysis.   You “cool cats” are too preoccupied copying one another.

MM-Avatar Is their a claws in some document somewhere stating that we  must all live individually?

SW-Avatar  Of course not Mr Midnight, only human-beings like to  make  lots of rules and things,  but  if you are to find your own true happiness,  you must learn to “go-your-own-way” and not to adhere to that of another.

MM-Avatar  What´s wrong with your ear?

SW-Avatar  There´s nothing wrong with my ear Mr Midnight. I said “adhere”!.

MM-Avatar Sorry, my mind was slipping a little.  I can´t take my thoughts  off  tonights pawty.

I take it that you´re not going then, even though there is some free Greek yogurt up for takes and a new band appearing.  They´re a wild herd of cows who wear large, fashionable moostaches and who love  to play loud moosic. 

SW-Avatar  I think I´ll have an early night tonight Mr Midnight but you go  ahead. It´s not my “cup-of-tea”. I´ll wait up for you and you can tell me what it was like when you get back.

MM-Avatar  OK.  Suit yourself. You go and entertain yourself by looking at daddys postage stamps or something, and I´ll go and have a good time.

Nobody lives furever,  so I may as well enjoy myself as long as  I can.

—————————————————

Sir Winston hoped that by staying at home, he was doing the right thing. He didn´t want to miss-out on life but for some reason, his instinct informed  him  that however difficult some of his choices may be, he was on the right path.

He settled down for a peaceful cat-nap.SW2

(C) MAGS 2013

Advertisements

Language and Identity

      Sir Winston was asleep in the hedge when he was suddenly awakened by a strange sound which somehow seemed familiar, but was not.  The noise  made a deep, grating sound with  odd  traces of wheezing   being emitted. Not being alarmed, Sir Winston came out of the hedge, stretched his long body, leisurely  opened and closed his claws,  and slowly adjusted his eyes to the brightness of daylight.

After having focused, he noticed that the weird sounds were coming from  Mr Midnight who was laying nearby in  the flower beds.

Had Mr Midnight got hayfever?, he thought.  Sir Winston moved from his comfortable position and went to find out what Mr Midnight was up to.

SW-Avatar Whats wrong Mr Midnight, you woke me from my sleep.  Are you having problems?

MM-Avatar There´s nothing wrong with me you cheeky rascal. I´m sorry for having woken you but I was just practicing one of my foreign languages. You know – the language  our neighbours  four legged friend seems to speak.

SW-Avatar But he´s a dog!  Why would you want to try and speak his language? You´re a cat!  Cats don´t go around barking and growling.

MM-Avatar Well I think he´s got a cool language and I want to be as cool as Mr Dog next door.  He seems to have a lot of fun,  even frightening people sometimes  with his  dandy art of communication.

SW-Avatar And I think it´s all rather ridiculous that a cat should want to try and be a dog.  Every creature has it´s positive and negative attributes and being a cat certainly has many advantages.

author-Avatar Now what´s up with you two then?  You both seem to be in a bit of mood at the moment.

SW-Avatar Mr Midnight was just explaining how cool it is for a cat to behave like  a dog, or words to that effect.

author-Avatar Whatever for?  If you´re a cat, shouldn´t you behave like a cat?

MM-Avatar I was only practicing my dog language daddy. It seems to be cooler than a cats language and anyway, it can´t be a bad thing to want to learn another language.

author-Avatar Yes, that´s true. One can never have enough foreign languages under ones belt but one should also not forget ones true identity.

MM-Avatar I don´t wear a belt daddy but does that mean I may still continue with my studies?

author-Avatar You may do as you please Mr Midnight (you usually do anyway!) but try not to copy another´s way of living. Be yourself – you´re just as magnificent (and as cool) as anybody else. Let me give you  a few examples from my daily life.

My garage door has an advertisement upon it from a local businessman. On the eve of the 1st of May, my garage door was deliberately defaced with graffiti by the local youths of my German village. Thank goodness they only used chalk,  so  their prank was  not  taken too  seriously. However, I found it quite  amusing that they obviously, have problems  spelling  simple  english words.

Among other things, they had written the word  “Looser” , many times, next to the advertisement on my garage door. It is quite common to want to “copy”  the english/american language in many forms of conversation in Germany, but if wanting to write foreign words in public, such as the word  “Loser”, should one not  at least,  look it up beforehand,  as to how it is  properly written?

Who is the loser now?  It´s certainly not “cool” to use another language in public without knowing how the words are properly written or spoken.

MM-Avatar That is why I´m practicing my “foreign”  language  daddy. I don´t want to make myself look ridiculous in public.

author-Avatar Which is certainly a good thing Mr Midnight.

The native english-speaking world (at least those who are living in the UK)   are usually quite hopeless at foreign languages with many other countries citizens having a better grasp of our (english) language than we of theirs.

I believe that most native english speakers would freely  admit that they were indeed, not a genius of foreign languages. (There are exceptions!)

Languages are changing all the time and the French language still plays a large part in many english words of today.  French authorities have also  decided to continue their ban  of english words with which to “protect and modernise” their own language – a move which helps preserve the French  “identity”.  In Germany, the clocks seem to run differently with it being common practice to want to adopt almost anything that happens to come from the United States – including the use (or misuse) of the english language.

SW-Avatar What do you mean by misuse of the english language daddy?

author-Avatar That it is a shame that although many citizens of my country (Germany) master the english language much better than most english people master a foreign language,  correct english  pronunciation is often ignored. Most are under the impression that the english language is so easy to learn.

It does not matter if a normal citizen pronounces foreign words wrongly (I do it all the time! )  🙂 but if one is  being paid for ones “english skills” (such as a news presenter,  radio or TV journalist or any other professional  english-speaking vacancy) then one should be fit in languages (at least in the english language) when presenting oneself before the general-public.   Afterall, the TV consumer will be under the impression that the newscaster has spoken the words properly. There seems to be something wrong with  the German education system as regards proper english pronunciation.  Even when leaving the topic of dialects or American /English pronunciation differences by the wayside,  it is still  quite typical to hear the constant eradication of the letter “a” into an “e” sound when pronouncing “english” words.

SW-Avatar ……..Possibly because the natural flow of the language has not been understood. If you use a language and are unable to detect the fine trimmings  of that language then it will obviously sound a little weird to native ears.

author-Avatar German people  have   corrected  me many times as to my pronunciation of english words.  I mean; I´m english. I think I know how to speak my own language.

MM-Avatar You must speak a strange accent daddy otherwise the good people wouldn´t criticise you.  What would they call me if they pronounced what I am in the english language?

author-Avatar Based on experience, you would be called a “bleck ket” instead of a black cat.

MM-Avatar And with which to compare; what if we “played with the letters” when saying what I am in the German language?

author-Avatar …..then you would be called a “Schwetze Ketze” (properly written Schwarze Katze) which to my knowledge,  would mean that you were  an “heretic gossiper”.       (Schwaetzer = gossiper,  Ketzer = heretic)

MM-Avatar I don´t think I like the sound of that. It  doesn´t sound nice daddy. I can see how important word pronunciation really is. All sorts of misunderstandings can happen.

author-Avatar The english language seems to avoid any such confrontations by simply changing difficult to pronounce  places or words  into an english sounding name.

I told you that we were useless at languages!  Koeln becomes Cologne, Muenchen becomes Munich, and Jerez in Spain becomes Sherry. Problem sorted. One  has to accept that one is sometimes poor at foreign pronunciation.

SW-Avatar I want to stick with my identity daddy so I will continue to use my “cat” language. For example:- Multiple meows for excited greetings. A drawn-out mrrrooooooowwwwww for a complaint or displeasure. A pur for close attention or contact. A hiss for a sign of aggression.

We also use body language. Such as me twitching my tail when being excited or anxious.  Tail vibrating when very excited to see you. Dilated pupils when playful or excited, as well as meaning aggression, and rubbing against you to “make you my own”.  If I give you a lick; that is the ultimate gesture of trust.

We have many other sound and body languages but I do not wish to bore the readers.

author-Avatar It is important to be who you really are and to not be a copy of something that we are not. If we discover  our true identity, we will be at our most happiest.

——————————————–

To close, one last scenario I experienced at the supermarket not so long ago.

The other day I was “fishing” around  for a pizza in the deep-freeze department of my local supermarket.  I couldn´t help over-hearing the conversation of the two old ladies standing next to me. (They spoke in loud tones).After also having rummaged around the freezer  for the right pizza for their evening meal, one of them commented (conversation was in German!);

“Doris, why don´t we take that nice “Schinken” (Ham) pizza? You know that I like a bit of tasty “Schinken”.

“Alright Hildgard, I´ll look forward to eating that”

Doris  picked it up and  placed it in her basket.  At the same time, I couldn´t help noticing that the two old ladies either couldn´t see properly or that they possessed little  knowledge of the english language.

It is quite common within German advertising to want to appear cool and modern and it is with such a mentality, that large areas of the general-public are simply  ignored with companies   packaging their products with large amounts of “English/American” words and slogans .

I thought to myself; Shall I tell them or not,  and  partly because of the situation appealing to my sense of  humour and also  believing that no harm would be done otherwise, I decided against informing them of their mistake.

They had mistaken the word “Schinken” for “Chicken”!

I could imagine them sitting around the table with their glass of red wine and Doris commenting;

“Hildegard, this Schinken (ham) tastes a little bit like “Huhn” (Chicken)!

SW-Avatar You see daddy, it is important that one attempts to live ones true identity, even though things are obviously, not always in our hands (or paws)!

MM-Avatar Did somebody say something about making a pause?