English 101 Again

courtesy of allaboutbirds.org

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  Sometimes just a word can do the trick.  The correct word, mind you.

Those of you who follow me know I become crazed when someone butchers the English language.  This does not include differences between my Canadian or British friends – go ahead and toss in an extra vowel where you will, or change spelling.  I won’t quibble.

Today I found validation and vindication!  And of all places, I found it in a novel.  This novel has been on my bookshelf for quite some time gathering dust.  I discovered it the other day and realized I had not read this particular book.  Turns out, it’s a very good novel.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.  And then I find something that simply shakes me to my core.

You see, for many years I have been trying in vain to explain to people that the breed of bird one sees frequently in North America is the Canada goose (or Branta canadensis).  If there is a single bird in your yard, it is a Canada goose.  If a few more of these majestic birds gather in your yard, you have a flock of  Canada geese, NOT Canadian geese. STOP CALLING THEM CANADIAN.  Pluralize the ‘goose’, not the ‘Canada’.  Ack.

This has finally been validated for me in the novel Amagansett by Mark Mills.  On page 262, one of the characters is questioned on what he hunts.  He replies, “Canada goose.”  Yippee Skippy!!  Finally, someone other than myself understands this point.

I’d like to meet this author and thank him!  Truly, you have no idea how many times I have struggled with this issue in a conversation.

At the very least, I will purchase his next book.  I am vindicated…sigh


6 thoughts on “English 101 Again

  1. Okay, so my husband says he is a Canadian and he is only one, but a goose is a Canada goose or a group is Canada geese. So is my husband a Canada man and a group of them are Canada men. LOL Hubby says they are Canadian geese and a Canadian goose once it leaves Canada. I am so confused. Aren’t they also North Americans from Canada. Always been so confusing for me. I mean we do have Central Americans and South Americans, so aren’t Canada people also North Americans. Actually I have had some Canadians tell me that they too come from North America and why do we in the US think we are the only North Americans. I had to totally agree with them that they are correct. So with all this logic I am thinking that they are just North American goose or geese. So confusing.

    God bless.
    He’s confusing a geographic location & a plural with a genus of species & a plural. Plus, a Canada goose is not Canadian. This is hurting my head so I’m going to shut up now. I’m sorry I mentioned anything… ack

  2. When I was stationed in Spain they often referred to Americans as norteamericanos. During the 1984 Olympics one of the locals who liked to heckle Americans cheered when Canada lost some competition or other. Our response, “So?”
    I once planted new grass and a Canada goose was helping himself to a buffet. I tried to chase him away and he got as belligerent as a drunk at a hockey game in Winnipeg.
    geese, regardless of what type, can be very territorial and aggressive – I learned this while we lived in Belgium and had both swans and geese in our pond. Swans are extremely nasty I discovered. Oh well. Thanks for stopping in! 🙂

  3. Hello my lovely friend,

    I though you had abandoned this blog, it is so nice to see you back. Please forgive me for not writing, I lost my way a little and needed a bit of help to put me back on the right path. I am thinking of returning to blogging so maybe we can catch up on old times?

    I am doing well and living all alone once more (Helen has left me) in my little house beneath the oak trees. But this time my sweet friend I have found my peace of mind.

    Speak to you soon and may your god bless you and keep you safe.

    Much Love

    P.S. I am with you on the correct use of our language 🙂
    Sandrine!!! It’s wonderful to hear from you sweetie (Jim & I were reminiscing recently about the good-old bloggy days LOL) – but I’m so sorry about H – the great news is your new-found peace of mind. That makes me so very happy. EmmaLou sends you a huge slurpy smoochie!! And I’m hugging you from across the pond!! Yes, I’ve returned to blog land but not as frequently as before – I simply don’t have the time these days. So, do stay in touch and get your blog going again! 🙂

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