[Ads-l] A linguistic lesson in diversity and tolerance

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 5 15:26:24 EDT 2016


Below is recent instance of a thematically similar joke with a mouse
imitating a dog to scare a cat.

Date: February 2008
Periodical: Boys' Life
Article: Think and Grin
Quote Page 51, Column 2
Publisher: Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Database: Google Books Full View

[Begin excerpt]
A mother mouse and a baby mouse are walking along when suddenly a cat
attacks them. The mother mouse shouts "BARK!" and the cat runs away.

"See?" the mother mouse says to her baby. "Now do you see why it's
important to learn a foreign language?"
William Edmisten, Morganton, N.C.
[End excerpt]

Below is an earlier instance of the sheep joke.

Date: February 17, 1959
Newspaper: The Times Record
Newspaper Location: Troy, New York
Quote Page 9, Column 4
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
FUN TIME
The Chuckle Box

First Sheep: Baa-a.
Second Sheep: Moo-o.
First Sheep: Moo-o? You're not a cow!
Second Sheep: I know. But I'm studying a foreign language!
[End excerpt]

Garson

Joel Berson wrote:
> I suspected it had a long and well-documented provenance, but I
> anticipated that others would do the research.

>       From: ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
>  To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>  Sent: Monday, September 5, 2016 12:45 PM
>  Subject: Re: [ADS-L] A linguistic lesson in diversity and tolerance
>
> Here is a version of the joke in "Boys' Life" in 1962.
>
> Date: February 1962
> Periodical: Boys' Life
> Article: Think and Grin
> Quote Page 78, Column 3
> Publisher: Boy Scouts of America, New Brunswick, New Jersey
> Database: Google Books Full View
>
> https://books.google.com/books?id=8dAIa-7YswsC&q=%22Two+sheep%22#v=snippet&
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> Two sheep were grazing in a field.
> The first sheep said to the second, "BA-AAA."
> The second replied, "MOOO."
> The first said "Whaddaya mean, MOOO?"
> The second replied "I'm studying a foreign language!"—James Johnson,
> Madison. N.J.
> [End excerpt]
>
> There are also matches for the "two sheep" version of the joke in and
> "Co-operative Digest: The National Magazine of Agricultural
> Cooperation" with an uncertain GB year of 1961 and "The Poultry
> Farmer" with an uncertain GB year of 1962.
>
> Garson
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 5, 2016 at 11:46 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>>> On Sep 5, 2016, at 11:09 AM, Margaret E. Winters <mewinters at WAYNE.EDU> wrote:
>>>
>>> The version we used to tell (I started my career teaching French) was a cat and a dog -- still a good story!
>>>
>>>
>>
>> In fact I remember buying a notebook (I believe on the Boul' Mich' in Paris in the early 1960s) whose inside cover had a cartoon depicting a cat and dog and a corresponding caption that translates as "It pays to learn a new language", although I forget whether the cat says this to the dog after it barks to scare away some other beast or whether it was one cat saying it to another cat after barking to scare away a dog or to trick a goldfish.  Ah, where did those brain cells disappear to?
>>
>> LH
>>> ----------------------------
>>> MARGARET E WINTERS
>>> On Leave
>>> Office of the Provost
>>> Wayne State University
>>> Detroit, MI  48202
>>>
>>> mewinters at wayne.edu
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
>>> Sent: Sunday, September 4, 2016 9:54:41 PM
>>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>>> Subject: A linguistic lesson in diversity and tolerance
>>>
>>> Two sheep meet in a meadow.
>>>
>>> The first one greets the other with "Baaaaa."
>>>
>>> The second one replies "Moooo."
>>>
>>> Sheep 1:  "Sheep don't say 'Moooo,' they say 'Baaaaa'."
>>>
>>> Sheep 2:  "No, I say 'Moooo'; I'm studying a foreign language and culture."
>>>
>>> (I think this would make a neat lesson for, say, third-graders.)
>>>
>>>
>>> Joel
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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