Washoe, the female chimpanzee whose use of American
Sign Language opened the first studies of non-human use of language
has died of natural causes at the research institute on the campus of
Central Washington University.
Washoe, who was born in Africa about 1965, was
thought to be about 42 years old. According to Roger and Deborah
Fouts who first introduced Washoe to ASL she died Tuesday night.
The Fouts are co-founders of The Chimpanzee and Human
Washoe knew an estimated 250 words and taught sign
language to three younger chimps.
Primate researcher Jane Goodall, in Roger Fouts' book
"Next of Kin," noted the importance of the work with
"Roger, through his ongoing conversations with
Washoe and her extended family, has opened a window into the
cognitive workings of a chimpanzee's mind that adds new dimension to
Jump the shark was just one of the things I had to look up. Snarky was another. Do you know what spooge means?
Turns out that foamy glob of white stuff hanging out on the corner of Bush's mouth during the last debate was probably not spooge, but who knows?
My new favourite site is the Urban Dictionary
A Bush supporter I know complained, bitterly, after the presidential debate that despite a generally accepted good showing, Kerry was not presidential material, in part, because of his use of 'complicated language.'
I didn't have any trouble understanding Kerry. Bush on the otherhand seemed incapable to constructing a complete sentence, let alone a group of utterances all relevant to a single point. Even his 'wrong war,' wrong time, wrong place' mantra seems to bolster Kerry's position on the Iraqi invasion.
Washington — For a pair of Ivy League graduates who studied oratory at Yale, George W. Bush and John Kerry struck just the ideal level of elocution in their first televised debate: They talked as though they wanted to be easily understood by preteens.
"Most Americans, even those who have graduated from high school, still operate at a sixth- or seventh-grade level of language," said Robert Beard, chief executive officer of yourDictionary.com.
The Lewisburg, Pa., firm analyzed a transcript of Thursday evening's 90-minute presidential debate, using the Flesch-Kincaid test that measures the grade level of language.
"Not unexpectedly, John Kerry's language was more erudite than George Bush's, but only slightly," Mr. Beard said. The grade level of Mr. Kerry's language during the debate was 7.3. Mr. Bush was about half a school year behind at 6.8. More
I've long been amused by hearing Americans of Italian descent speak Italian-American regarding food. Drop all final vowels seems to be the rule, along with some nonsense words, like "minga" which seems to be an expression of surprise or astonishment, but is not found in the dictionary--Italian or English. For example, "Minga! that's a salty proshoot." Anybody know the origin of "minga"? I'd like to know.
I hate it when folks say anxious when they mean eager.
Ditto incredible when very will do.
How about, "I had went to the store when the delivery man came." EEEEKKKK. Like nails on a blackboard.
I worry sometimes about being too prissy, too strict in my annoyance when I hear the English language misued. Any language changes, modifies, flows and adapts to new usage. The misuse of hopefully for instance is ubiquitous.
I was disappointed Wordspy had no listing for snarky. That's where I found frienemy, a few of whom I've had in my life. But, lest I annoy my readers with my boring anecdotageI won't go there. This entry in Dictionary.com finally helped me hone the description of my mood.