This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Nuts and Bolts: how to talk peacock.

No, not that sort of peacock: all the screeching would hurt the throat. The peacock I'm interested in is the Peacock Tree Frog, and the great thing about its language is...

...well, do you remember those twenty words you had to learn every week for your vocabulary test? And the way that, even after all that work, you couldn't understand a word anyone was saying unless it related to the habits of M Bertillon's cat? 

Well, here is another vocabulary list. It consists of only two words, but that, apparently, is the whole spoken language of the Peacock Tree Frog, Leptopelis vermiculatus.

Leptopelis vermiculatus2.jpg
(Sweet, aren't they? You find them in the rain forests of Tanzania.)

So here we are: an opportunity to become fluent in a foreign language in under a minute.


Ga ga ga

That's what you say if you want to attract a female (and why oh why does English not contain such a formula?).

Rrrrrrrrr ga

is what you say if you want males to go away (we have plenty of words to mean this. Unfortunately they a) mostly aren't printable, and b) don't work very effectively).

So there you are. One minute's work, one complete language: all the tools you need to make love, not war.

It's enough to make you wonder if all this wide-vocabulary stuff is really such a good thing as it's cracked up to be, isn't it.

Phrase To Use Today: one in Peacock Tree Frogish. Do let us know if it works.

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