An Observation: Soft Kitty, Smart Kitty

I’ve had some time on my hands lately; therefore, I have overthought.

Oh, who am I kidding? I would have overthought of this eventually, regardless of whether or not social gatherings were taking place…largely due to the fact that I didn’t take part in tons of social activities in the first place. Throw in a few germs of ANY KIND during your run-of-the-mill cold and flu season and I was going to avoid the plague like, well, the PLAGUE, finding my own socially-distant activities to pass the time.

Streaming The Office GIF

So, in the course of my regularly-scheduled overthinking, I came upon something that has been mildly annoying to me for years–but fun for lots of other people, apparently–and decided to analyze it until it wasn’t fun anymore. (That’s how it works. I don’t make the rules. Sorry.)

I have always liked cats. I was around cats in my home until an unfortunate allergy that surfaced in college left me in tears (and hives) every time I found myself within a mile of a cat.

Animated GIF
Kind of like this, only with a lot more sneezing.

While I can’t help but think that some of them are out to get me (knowing that their dander and my weakness for their cute little faces are my kryptonite), I know they aren’t devoid of intelligence. They’re very smart creatures, in fact, even if they choose not to listen to people most of the time.

Which…brings me to my current overthought:

Hooman.

Somewhere along the way, someone else on the planet who thought cats were as cute as I do began to create memes about them. For some reason that I can’t quite determine, the word “hooman” began to emerge as part of the central tenet of cat vocabulary/language theory. It’s a theory that contends that if cats could speak, they would speak in terms…like that.

And it bugs me.

I’ve finally figured out why.

Sure, I’ll explain!

  1. One would assume that if a cat picked up the English language, they would do so by listening primarily to their owners, right? Okay, then. How many times a day–in normal conversation–do you refer to another person as a “human”? You’re more likely to call them by name, or perhaps refer to “people” or “a person.” You might even say “you” relatively frequently. But I can’t think of the last time I called the person sitting next to me “human” as a way of getting their attention. Therefore, they would be far more likely to pick up on the other terms before anything would have the opportunity to morph itself into “hooman” form.
  2. I know we’re living in a meme land where we assume cats can speak, but cats, in general, would probably say “meow” anyway. Why? Well, it appears to be easy for them, and it’s part of what makes a cat a cat. Plus, they’re stubborn. They’ll revert to what they know. “Meow” is familiar, and it’s succeeded in keeping cats fed and warm for many years now.
  3. As for the other grammatical errors that generally appear as part of these memes, sure, not every person speaks in grammatically-accurate language all the time. However, I’m doubtful that cats listen exclusively to conversations that mangle subject-verb agreements. Remember, they’re putting this language together based on what they hear, and conversations not directed towards the cat will likely be taking place in their presence. And, finally…
  4. Well, I didn’t quite think this far ahead. So…yeah. Overthought complete-ish.

I don’t know about you, but based on my observations of cats, they would probably place themselves more in a “cat”egory of perceived intellectual superiority above all other creatures, including their “hoomans.”

That is, until they fall off a ledge or something during a cat nap.

An Observation: The Covfefe Conundrum

A lot of people have been having fun with the whole covfefe conundrum because–let’s face it–fun is fun. Entire websites are devoted to similarly hilarious text errors from everyday exchanges. I know that I’ve laughed so uncontrollably at autocorrect mistakes in the past that I thought I would have to seek medical attention.

Anyone on the world’s stage should expect to be under constant scrutiny, especially if social media communication is a yuge part of your daily routine (chuckle). Unfortunately, anyone within a few feet of a cell phone nowadays is at risk of becoming a YouTube sensation for little or no reason other than humiliation-style entertainment in this here internets day and age.

However, I think some of the real humor in this situation is that this particular error probably could not have been an autocorrect or predictive text mistake. In the context of the intended phrase, predictive text most likely would have changed covfefe to coverage. I did an experiment with my own autocorrect (typing in the first few letters of the word without any phrases surrounding it), and I ended up with the words coffee, covering, cover, and, oddly, even covfefe (But only because I’ve been using it too much lately. Not to worry…the little squiggles still appear under the word.).

Whether you agree or disagree with the president’s policies or philosophies, I think everyone can agree that he definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer. I would imagine the idea of an electronic device trying to correct his spelling wouldn’t appeal much to him, so my opinion (just my opinion–not fake news, alternative fact, etc.) is that he turned off the autocorrect/predictive text function (something I’ve wanted to do with mine about a thousand times a week).

Plenty of people seem to believe that this gaffe has received too much unwarranted attention, but you don’t have to go too far back to find out just how much, well, spelling counts. (So does math. Math always counts. Haha. Back to what I was saying…)

Here’s a brief list of a few well-known word issues that received plenty of attention despite occurring before the internet became the all-encompassing, speed-of-light source that it is today:

  1. The Great Potatoe Incident. Remember that one? Does a former vice president come to mind?

This spelling was popularized circa 1992. I saw this sign in 2010.
This spelling was popularized circa 1992. I saw this sign in 2010 while traveling.

2. Strategery. Okay, I’m going out on a limb with this one since it was a Will Ferrell impersonation, but the reason it became an iconic pop culture reference is because it was not beyond the realm of possibility.

will-ferrell-george-bush

And, finally…

3. Nuclear. As in, nu-kyoo-lar. Yeah, this one’s not so much a spelling issue, but it was worthy of the list. Strategery was born of pronunciations like this.

I’m not trying to start a political debate here. Hey, we all make mistakes. I do think it’s been a nice, humorous diversion from the day-to-day madness lately.

Speaking of diversions…on the photography front, I’m hoping to take advantage of some beautiful new landscape opportunities in the next week or two, so check for updates! In the meantime, you can check out my current inventory of prints in my Etsy shop.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MeticulousObserver