Thursday, 19 August 2010

Adventures with my Dog

It's not that I thought painting would be easy with a small dog in tow, it's just that I hadn't entirely envisaged how difficult it would be.

It goes without saying that every time another dog barked, I'd have to stop what I was doing and go and shut him up - which process involves the 'submit' position (for him, not me), but for some reason I hadn't worked out in advance that it would also involve him stealing the drop cloth, pulling the decorator's tape away from the skirting board and that after about thirty or forty such interventions, I would start tiring and walk into a bit I'd just painted. That it would of course involve his objecting to every person who walked or cycled by, every lorry or van, digging in the garden, hiding in the garden, finding a flower pot and recycling it orally, and of course, the fearful silence.
If it had gone quiet for more than ten minutes, I also had to get down off the ladder and go and investigate. He'd chewed the cover off my book because I'd stupidly left it on the chair I'd sat in when I had eaten my lunch. He'd found a folded up paper towel somewhere and was shredding it. He'd gone over the sofa and behind a chair to get a colour sample.
Progress was slow.

But enough of that.
Austen sent me this BBC interview of Professor Deborah Cameron, Professor of Language and Communication at Worcester College, Oxford, by Stephen Fry, about whether women and men use language differently. Cameron really knows her stuff, sadly Fry drops the ball a couple of times. However, nil desperandum, it's an interesting interchange.

And lastly, or rather most ghastly, Sarah Palin. On this occasion however, these Mamma Grizzlies speak out and against her nonsense. Make sure you click on the link to see the video clip.

The blog picture is inside the Capitol, the government building in Juneau.


Raymond's Brain said...

The Fry thing was intriguing. I especially liked the last bit about how heterosexual couples assumed their misunderstandings were related to gender rather than the inevitable imperfection of communication between any two people.
When I studied Japanese, we actually had activities where we would change dialogues to be recognizably male or female. Also I'd heard that foreigners with opposite sex Japanese partners ended up sounding funny because they were learning to speak from a person of the opposite sex.

Schneewittchen said...

I think that goes back to how we are products of our social conditioning and identity is invested heavily with gender.

That is an interesting language activity Raymond. If I were teaching language right now, it's an idea I'd take on board, even though European languages clearly don't have the same gender bias in speech - as opposed to word-gender. Interesting too about the opposite sex partner thing and language.