The Language of Human Puppies – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Human puppies are smart. The one that visited today can speak bulldoggese. That is more than human adults can do.

Me:        Actually, the baby was speaking gibberish.

Stella:    Are you calling my bulldog language gibberish? How dare you? And what is gibberish? Is it what I think it is because it sounds delicious.

Me:        Gibberish is baby talk. Babies practice talking while they are learning words. Few of the words sound like regular language. That’s how they learn. But it is not bulldoggese.

Stella:    That little human said, ‘Pfffftt.’ Pfffftt. One of the central words of the bulldog dictionary.

Me:        All right. I admit that she made a sound that fell close to ‘pfffftt’. I don’t think that she meant anything by it.

Stella:    How could she not? She is obviously a tough, intelligent little human. She will make a beautiful bulldog someday.

Me:        Stella…

Stella:    Just like me.

Me:        Stella?

Stella:    And we will speak in bulldoggese every day.

Me:        Stella!

Stella:    Huh?

Me:        She will always be a human. She will never be a bulldog. Remember? We’ve talked about this sort of thing before.

Stella:    I will dedicate my Bulldog Dictionary to her. To the young human who cared enough to learn bulldog before her own language. From your Aunt Stella. Pfffftt!

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Am I a ‘People’? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. My question today is ‘Am I a people?’ Lady Human, you are the expert on human words. Am I a people or not?

Me:        Well, technically not…

Stella:    What!

Me:        …because the word ‘people’ is plural…

Stella:    More nonsense.

Me:        Which means two or more and you are only one.

Stella:    Yes, I am the one and only Stella.

Me:        True, you are the one and only of yourself, but there are other Stellas.

Stella:    So, me and all the other Stellas are people.

Me:        Again, not technically…

Stella:    What!

Me:        …because the word ‘people’ means ‘human beings’.

Stella:    Woah! Hold on there! You are saying that we Stellas can’t be people because we are not human?

Me:        I am sure that there are some human Stellas out there so the word ‘people’ refers only to them.

Stella:    Well, I never! How selfish can humans get?

Me:        Pretty doggone selfish sometimes. And then, other times, we do better.

Stella:    Stealing words and saying that non-humans can’t use them!

Me:        You realize, don’t you, that we are talking about human language? Words that humans speak? To other humans?

Stella:    Pfffftt! I hear you speaking human words to me all the time, words that you expect me to understand. And then you change the meaning of the words. ‘This means this and that means that, but now, all of a sudden, without warning, that means this and this means that other thing.’ Pfffftt!

Me:        Okay, but you have dog words that we humans can’t even pronounce. Like that ‘pfffftt’ thing that you do with your mouth.

Stella:    Pfffftt! There! That’s how you say it. Easy.

Me:        Pift.

Stella:    No, like this. Put your lips like this.

Me:        Puft.

Stella:    No, keep your lips tight over your teeth.

Me:        Pheesh.

Stella:    No. Please stop. Don’t even try anymore. Dog words sound terrible coming out of your mouth.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Dangerous Phrases – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Humans are the silliest creatures I know, sillier even than squirrels and that is saying a lot.

Me:        Why are we silly now?

Stella:    I heard what you said earlier.

Me:        I said a lot of things earlier. Nobody listened.

Stella:    You said one thing that everybody heard.

Me:        Oh, yeah. But that was just gibberish.

Stella:    Don’t call Bulldoggese gibberish!

Me:        I said, “Wah! Wah! Waaahhh!” It was a joke.

Stella:    And did you see what happened when you said it?

Me:        Wiggles, Snoopey, and Miss Sweetie jumped to their feet. Do you mean…

Stella:    They heard, “Get up!” So, they got up.

Me:        But you, Doodlebug, and Tiger didn’t move. You didn’t bat an eye.

Stella:    I batted an eye. I just didn’t get up. I didn’t want to.

Me:        Bulldoggy.

Stella:    Always.

Me:        I didn’t know what I was saying. I was just making a funny noise.

Stella:    Be careful of your funny noises, Lady Human. In Bulldoggese, you may be telling us to take over your human kingdom.

Me:        But you wouldn’t try to do that, would you?

Stella:   Mmmm.

Me:        Stella?

Stella:    Hmmm.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Mine! Mine! Mine! – Conversations with Stella

Hello! I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, et cetera.

Me:        Hello, what?

Stella:    It means ‘and so forth and so on’.

Me:        I know what it means. Where did you learn that?

Stella:    The Picture Box had a bald man inside and he said it again and again. I liked the way he made it sound, so I claimed it. It is now mine.

Me:        I think you must have seen Yul Brynner. He was an actor.

Stella:    Well, he surely knew how to say ‘et cetera’. But that phrase is mine now.

Me:        You can’t just claim a phrase that everybody uses…

Stella:    Yes, I can. Mine. See! That simple.

Me:        You can’t declare some common words to be yours…

Stella:    Mine! Done!

Me:        You can say it all you wish, but you can’t keep others from saying it.

Stella:    Yes, I can!

Me:        Why?

Stella:    Because, you know…Queen. You have a short memory, Lady Human.

Me:        Oh, Stella.

Stella:    That’s my name. I claim that, too. Mine! Nobody else can be Stella.

Me:        I believe that there are a lot of Stellas out there who would dispute that.

Stella:    Dispute. Okay. That’s mine, too. Claimed! Done!

Me:        Language is to be shared, not hoarded.

Stella:    Not anymore. It’s mine, all mine. Except for some words that I don’t like. For example, the word “no”, the word “stop”, the word “down”, the word “enough”. There are others that I don’t favor, but I don’t remember all of them. For now, I am not claiming these. I am freezing them so that they cannot be used against me.

Me:        I think this queen thing has gone to your head.

Stella:    Being queen is not a thing. It is me. Who I am. After all, someone has to be in charge. And the humans don’t seem to be. Therefore, MINE!

 

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

What Kind of Accent is That? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella.

Me:        No “Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges” this time?

Stella:    It goes without saying, though I will probably have to keep on saying it to remind everyone. Humans and bulldogs forget so easily.

Me:        What is the issue of the day?

Stella:    You talk funny.

Me:        I beg your pardon?

Stella:    Okay, I pardon you, but you still talk funny. And Tall Man does, too. You don’t sound like a lot of the people on television. I love television. Except for those weird black and white pictures of old humans from a long time ago. Scary. Humans can be ugly.

Me:        Yes, we can be, in more ways than one.

Stella:    So you should not take so many pictures of yourselves. Really scary.

Me:        Okay, thank you for pointing that out again, Stella. What about this talking funny business?

Stella:    Different humans sound different. And now I notice that different dogs sound different.

Me:        Different dogs?

Stella:    There was that dog I met who said he was from Co-lom-bee-yah. What the freak is that?

Me:        Don’t say ‘freak’, Stella. There is more than enough real cussing and fake cussing as it is in the world without bulldogs adding to it.

Stella:    Well, Mr. Co-lom-bee-yah did not understand the word ‘freak’ either. He did not understand anything that I said and I was speaking very plainly. So I want to know why I can understand some humans and some dogs and can’t understand others. Their words sound strange.

Me:        Are you telling me that dogs have different languages and accents the same way humans do?

Stella:    What? I don’t understand.

Me:        The way we pronounce words, the way we say them has to do with accents. The words we say are language. I am speaking English right now.

Stella:    What? Is English that ‘blah, blah, blah, blah” that we hear from you so often?

Me:        Oh, mercy.

Stella:    Now that sounds like that other dog I met, the one from Fran-sah. She said mer-see, mer-see, mer-see all the time. But it still didn’t sound like what you said.

Me:        Where are you meeting all these dogs from other countries?

Stella:    When I am just walking along, minding my own business. They shout at me. I wish I could answer them, but I don’t understand what they are saying. So I just say, What? It is my question for all dogs.

Me:        I had no idea that that is what we were hearing. I thought all dogs understood each other.

Stella:    If we did, we might not have so many fights.

Me:        You know what. That could be true of humans, too.

Stella:    We really need to write those human and dog dictionaries. It might straighten a bunch of problems out.

Me:        Or cause more.

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.