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Word Wednesday: Sometimes Tried and True is Best

18 January 2006

Sorry for the late post today, but l’ve got some deadlines looming, so I actually buckled down to work first, with only 5-minute breaks for email and blogs.

It was so nice out this afternoon that when the girls came home we took the dog for a long walk around Gray’s Lake. I was feeling irresponsible in not having a Word Wednesday topic, but serendipity always comes through: at the lake I noticed something that’s bugged me for quite a while. Since the lake renovations were complete, in fact.

After making the walking paths smooth, and stocking the lake with fish, and adding a boathouse for canoe and kayak rentals, the city added, at half-mile intervals, plastic bag dispensers / trash cans for doggie-doo. What a great idea this is. I really think it keeps the place cleaner than if we had to count on some dog owners to bring their own bags. But what bothers me is the phrase they’ve placed front and center on each of these dog centers:

“Please pick up behind your dog”

??!? ??!

Obviously, someone thought that the old “please pick up after your dog” was just plain overdone, so they must have taken out their handy-dandy thesaurus and chosen “behind” as an appropriate synonym.

But I ask you, what if consequent to doing her business, your dog spins around and is facing in the direction of the little pile — you wouldn’t be picking up behind your dog, would you? Maybe you wouldn’t think of picking up the pile in FRONT of your dog. But considering that wherever the pile is in relation to your dog, your action takes place AFTER your dog’s business, that is obviously the apt word. Dontcha think?

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