Date: Thu, 11 Aug 1994 12:28:37 GMT+1200 From: Tim Behrend Subject: Re: your male type cats On Wednesday, 10 August, Tim Frazer (mftcf[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU) wrote: I have always thought the male/female thing on dogs and cats was pretty universal, not regional. Aren't cats always "she" in nursery rhymes? Not always so for nursery rhymes and folktales. Remember Puss'n'Boots? In our own day, the presence of tomcats like Felix the Cat, Fritz, Tom (and Jerry), Topcat, Garfield and other cartoon characters pretty strongly affirms feline masculinity. So do such expressions as catting around (but not catty), and terms like cat (beat culture), fat cat, cat house, cat burglar, cat-o'-nine-tails. Ideolectically, for me all domestic animals are pretty much "it"s, with no sense of discomfort or apology to anthropomorphist owners. On the the it-ification of babies, though, while I do find myself using it, I always feel dissonance and have a sense that its a bit inappropriate. Back to "whut"--Don Lance said I'mn asking a complicated question, but I can't resist this simple survey: How many of you out there, just off the top of your head, would regard the "whut" spelling a s eye dialect? I'm curious what the exact meaning of "eye dialect" is. Any definitions handy for a non-dialectologist? Tim Behrend Asian Languages, University of Auckland Tim