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This was too special not to share.  As I watch them, I can’t help thinking how huge they are yet how cat-like they are. But of course they are catlike.  Cats are cats, whether they have three-color stripes and weigh 500 lbs, or grey fur with white bracelets and weigh 7 lbs.  And the amazing thing is that the genus Felidae is so uniformly catlike across all its various species.  Any of the behaviors you can find in a tiger, or a puma, or a jaguar, or a serval, you can find in your average garden variety “house” cat.  Kittehs can has quite a skill set.

While we’re on the subject — Earlier, I had eaten a pair of biscuits and some chicken for brunch, and the plate I ate them from is still sitting on my monitor shelf.  The grey one was trying to sleep on my chest just now, decided I was too busy to lie on, got up, and stood on the arm of my chair for a moment.  While she was considering the drop to the floor, she very deftly swept her tail across the plate and flicked the crumbs on me.   Never a dull moment. . .


I’ve almost resigned myself to the use of “surveillance” as a verb, although it still jars my ear to hear that someone was not “under surveillance,” but was “being surveilled” —  (I am guessing at the spelling of the verb form. WordPress’ spellchecker doesn’t like it any better than I do. One assumes that if the noun has two “L’s,” the verb form would also.) –“serveill” is what is known grammatically as a back formation — making a noun into a verb by removing the “noun suffix” to get at the supposed root form —  like assuming that the verb form of the noun “adhesion” is “adhese.” (The correct verb is “adhere.”)   English is particularly prone to making nouns into verbs, so prone, in fact, that we assume we can always get away with it.  I ran across a particularly glaring example of a back formation on a TV show I was watching while I was daddy-sitting this morning — The person was speaking of the British crown jewels, with which the monarchs of Britain are “coronated” — a back formation from “coronation.”  Obviously, this person was unaware that a “coronation” is the ceremony during which a monarch is crowned — by putting a crown on the monarchical head, oddly enough.   (I suppose that if you had your heart set on “coronating” somebody, you’d have to do it with a coronet.)

English is becoming increasingly “verbalized” — extinction used to be a state of (non)being -a species became extinct.  Now it’s a destination: species go extinct — I suppose it’s a logical extension of “going the way of the dodo.” (The dodo has left the building. . .)   Now we “surveille” and “liaise” with impunity.   I suppose I shouldn’t cut up so rough about it.  After all, we house and chair, surf and ski, task and trial, and a dozen other nouns we’ve multi-tasked into verbs.  When you get right down to it, even Shakespeare did it.  Our English-speaking tendency to twist and tinkertoy (–see what I just did there?) the language to suit, and to neologize on demand is one of the reasons English is just about the most versatile language on the planet.

Also in a grammatical vein, the expression “in the meanwhile” — I was taught either “in the meantime” or “meanwhile,” but this mash-up expression “in the meanwhile” keeps turning up — even my most favorite author, who has a grasp of grammar and syntax that amounts to a half nelson, uses it unabashedly.


In other news, I’ve called my friend and lined up the “muscle” for the proposed furniture reconfiguration next week, and I’ve got my daddy-sitting dates for February that I need to transfer to my calendar.  I’m contemplating performing tuna salad — I’ve got the cans of tuna and the dish set out on the counter, just waiting for the spirit to move me.  I’ve been wanting to make some, and I need to use up an onion that was trying to sprout.  I have a refrigerator that dates from the 1970’s, the era of butter/margarine in a stick and covered oblong butter dishes.  (We have since entered the era of tub margarine.)  I keep my onions in the part of the refrigerator door engineered to keep the butter/margarine from getting rock hard — it’s up at the top of the door and has a little lid that raises up.  There’s also a “utility” area beside it, which also has a little lid, for things like cream cheese, and block cheese — i.e., room for more onions.  My onions keep there for months, long enough to start sprouting, in fact.  There is an erroneous belief floating about that onion sprouts are poisonous**.  If this were the case, I’d be long dead.  When I make tuna salad, I use raw onions, chopped kosher dill pickles, and chopped olives, with mayonnaise for the dressing.  A tuna salad sandwich on bread machine bread. . . major nummies.

**Potato sprouts are, in fact, toxic.  Potatoes and tomatoes are members of the nightshade family, and most green portions (leaves and stems) of plants in this family contain an alkaloid poison called solanine.