Unfetching cats

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

An instance of the  No Word for X meme, here applied to cats’ deep resistance to obeying commands: there’s no word for ‘fetch’ in Cat.

On the meme, there’s now a Page on this blog with links to postings, on Language Log and on this blog, about it. There you will find Mark Liberman’s LLog  posting of 11/25/14 “No word for fetch”, with a Drew Dernavich New Yorker cartoon from 2007: two dogs facing a cat, one dog to the other: “You’ll have to phrase it another way. They have no word for ‘fetch.’ ” Or, as Mark noted:

to put it another way: “They have no words for anything, but they have no concept for ‘fetch’.”

Once you have the meme available to you, then this is a natural joke. Dernavich and Mike Peters (who draws MGG) both hit on the idea — and others have surely hit on it as well, and new people will in the future.

One Response to “Unfetching cats”

  1. Stan Carey Says:

    The cartoon also calls to mind a certain catchphrase from Mean Girls. In this case, the dog is trying in vain to make fetch happen. I’m guessing the reference is not deliberate, but who knows.

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