Thursday, January 10, 2008

Speaking in Tongues

I speak equine these days, and it can be a little confusing because some words mean completely different things when you're talking about humans vs. horses (or in my case, a donkey).

For example, let's look at the word founder. As a verb it can mean several things:

* To fall or sink down, as buildings, ground, etc.: Built on a former lake bed, the building has foundered nearly ten feet.

* To become wrecked; fail utterly: The project foundered because public support was lacking.

However, when a horse founders, it gets ill from overeating and its neck can hard and sort of bulge out and flop over. Two totally different things.

Another example is colic. A colicky baby is one who simply cries and cries for no good reason (or so I have been told - what do I know from children? I have 3 goats. And a donkey. And 2 cats. And a husband. What more do I need?). When a horse colics, it is related to a gastrointestinal issue that often is serious and can be fatal. The horse (or donkey) may roll around so much due to pain that they twist up their intestines and die. A little bit different from a baby.

Now, since I've just cheated and looked at Wikipedia for both definitions to confirm I am on the right track, colic in babies was originally attributed to gas and blockage in the gastrointestinal area. And according to the dictionary, the definition of colic is "paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels," so it's not totally off-base.

Still, I never thought I'd have a shot of Bamamine in fridge in case my donkey colics and I need to give it an injection to ease the pain.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...