Monday, October 02, 2006

language games

you know how sometimes you use a word so much, or hear it misused and abused so much, that it loses all meaning? (please don't misuse the word deconstruction around my mawma. she has some sort of brain hemmorage when it happens). i think when we start to describe dogs as terrorists, the terrorists have won. i hearby declare the words "terror" and "terrorist" to have a completely arbitrary meaning. the signifier has officially slid away from any signified. (is that deconstruction?)

from the ap wires:

October 02,2006 | CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Describing abandoned puppies as "terrorists" in a classified ad doesn't seem like a good way to get them adopted. Unless you're in the animal-rescue world of Paula Young.

Young, director of Mount Vernon's animal shelter, learned last month that four rat terrier pups were about to be euthanized in New York City. So she swooped in, picked them up and brought them to her five-acre spread in Westchester County. Then she called The Journal News and ordered a two-week, three-line ad that says, "Twin Rat Terrorists; 11 months, adorable, full of fun."

You don't often see "terrorist" and "adorable" in the same description, but Young said she was just being honest.

"They can be little terrors," she said of the 8- to 12-pound, white-butterscotch-and-black short-haired terriers named Jack, Jackie, Milo and Dino, who were playing happily on a second-story deck on a recent morning and were perfectly friendly toward a visitor.

Don't be fooled by those sweet-looking faces and silky ears: Their fierce hunting instincts are likely to terrify any prey.

"If you're wearing a pair of slippers that look like bunnies, they'll think it's the greatest thing in the world and they'll attack them," warned Young.

"And they're very energetic. Jack jumped off that deck to greet me the other day."

Young said she advertised the little terrors by twos because people would be more likely to adopt two than four. And as of Monday she had found a home for just one -- Jack, who was adopted by a woman and her 11-year-old daughter in Piermont.


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