Fun_People Archive
3 Dec
We Could Learn a Lot from Bluejays...

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun,  3 Dec 100 17:16:01 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: We Could Learn a Lot from Bluejays...

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: Joe Weihe <>

In 'A Tramp Abroad' (1880), Mark Twain created an illiterate miner telling
a story about the animals and birds he has encountered in his solitary
labours, and whose language he can understand. Here Jim Baker reflects on
the unreliable grammatical usage of some of these creatures:

"I've noticed a good deal and there's no bird, or cow or anything that uses
 as good grammar as a bluejay. You may say a cat uses good grammar. Well,
 a cat does - but you let a cat get excited once; you let a cat get to
 pulling fur with another cat on a shed, nights, and you'll hear grammar
 that will give you the lockjaw. Ignorant people think it's the noise which
 fighting cats make that is so aggravating but it ain't so; it's the
 sickening grammar. Now I've never heard a jay use bad grammar but very
 seldom, and when they do, they are as ashamed as a human, they shut right
 down and leave."
				-Mark Twain

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