Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dog Lexicography -- Part I

I do patent law part time these days, so I thought I would talk about the terms people use to describe various dog activities -- often words that aren't in dictionaries. In patent law, the patentee can create new terms or redefine old terms as it suits them ("the patentee may serve as their own lexicographer" -- bolstered by the recent en-banc CAFC Phillps v. AWH case). I will touch on two words that we've used to describe doggie behaviour:

To Hork/Horked/Horking


"Can you use it in a sentence?" I hear some ex-spelling-bee champ asking. Sure I can, and, in so doing, it will become clear what "horked" means:

"Ew, the dog Horked up something that looks like a chicken neck."
'nuff said, no?

Snorfbuckling's a little harder to describe, but here goes... when a dog decides to vigorously chew in the nether regions (of the dog, not Finland or something), the sheer concentration and ferocity of said action is often accompanied by semi-occluded moist breathing sounds, modulated by the chewing. Sort of a "Glertz/snuffle/glortz" sound at about 1.5 times per second. This sound is often heard in our house in the middle of the night when the dog, for some reason associated with random neural firing, decides it's time to power-groom.

"What is that sound? (asked groggily)"
"Just the dog Snorfbuckling again."

More words to come.

If you're a dog person, this probably makes sense; if you're not, little of this blog probably makes much sense to you.

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