January 24, 2010

Way With Words

A cow is an adult female bovine, a boy is a human male child. A cowboy is neither. A cowboy is an adult human male who herds steers or steers herds.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
inspired by an earlier discussion of the slipperiness of language, and the importance of context for meaning.

3 comments:

David |Dah • veed| said...

So what is a cowgirl?

Erika Baker said...

You're clearly employing the well known liberal ploy of playing with semantics in order to obscure the plain literal meaning of the word!

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Dahveed, Online Webster's gives the confusing and gender-bending definition: "a female cowboy." My print Webster's is much more helpful: "a girl who assists in herding cattle, etc." Somewhat dismissive, but not so confusing. I will say that the online search for "cowgirl" also produced some definitions that are far from PG rated. Enter at your own risk...

Erika, as a wise man once said, "You might well think that, but I couldn't possibly say that." Or words to that effect!