|This article is part of UnNews||A newsstand that's brimming with issues|
22 January 2009
A common misunderstanding about cats is that they are difficult to train. However, while it takes a more delicate approach than dog training, it is possible to develop many fun and practical skills in our feline friends. One area where cat training has badly lagged, however, is the area of English grammar and spelling.
While the English language is admittedly difficult to master for any non-native speaker, cats, largely left to learn the language for themselves, have developed notoriously terrible habits. Even a cursory search on the internet reveals common cat mistakes in spelling and grammar. For instance, the letter "Z" is often used where "S" would be correct, such as in the word "has", where cats tend to use "haz". Also, cats have not grasped the concept of verb conjugation; "I can haz" is used instead of the correct "I can have". Cats also tend to eschew forming questions in the common verb-subject order. The above-mentioned "I can haz" is usually the form a cat will use for the more common "Can I have" when forming a question.
These shortcomings have concerned cat advocates for some time, since the problem has been made public by various internet enthusiasts. In response, The National Association for the Advancement of Cat Power has created the Cat Grammar Project. Association president Alfred Desmond said, "Some people think it's cute, the way cats don't use good grammar and spelling. But we are concerned that, simply for the entertainment value of it, cats are kept in a place of social ignorance, creating a decidedly speceisist ceiling regarding their advancement as members of our diverse society."
Local cat lover Lolly Berger agrees. "Cats are very fond of telling you where they currently are, and what they are doing to your stuff there. But because they are so deficient in their language skills, it always comes off juvenile and even from a seemingly lower level of intelligence." Holding back watering eyes, she grew emotional describing the plight of her own fluffy white tabby, Fluffy. "I don't care what everyone else thinks. I don't think it's cute. I think it's awful. The Cat Power folks have my full support."
You may make donations to the Cat Grammar Project by logging on to LolCatz.com.