Friday, February 04, 2011

Jug Band O' Birds

Humans hate birds. When we’re not shooting them, eating them, or chasing them into the sky to dice them with our airplane engines, we’re making up phrases that highlight how lame we think they are. For instance, something that is foolish or ridiculous can be classified as “for the birds,” someone who’s not very bright may be called “bird brained,” “killing two birds with one stone” is a bird-hating substitute for the term "multi-tasking," and if you mention to someone with a gentle honk that their texting is putting your life in danger, they will almost always thank you for your courteous warning by “flipping the bird.”

As if threatening and insulting the entire bird population with phrases like these isn’t enough, consider the negative connotations that are associated with individual types of birds... like chickens, turkeys, loons, cuckoos, dodos, stool pigeons, silly geese, and lame ducks. No one wants to be called bird names. That's mean... and it's not 1955.

Are birds doomed to be loathed by mankind forever? As long as we're using phrases like "a bird in the hand is worth squeezing to death," it appears so. Which reminds me... please start using that phrase.