Thursday, January 7, 2010

May I Have a Word?

I am an admitted liberal. But not the kind of liberal who thinks all guns should be picked up and melted to build housing for the poor. Not that that would be a bad idea, but what I mean is that I'm not anti-gun. I even enjoy the occasional venison.

I'm also a late bloomer. So when I was at the tender age of forty-four I decided to finish my bachelor's degree. I quite a few unfocused college hours, and it would have been silly not to get that sheepskin. I was working in the financial aid office at a university, so education was smiled upon. My husband was supportive, my boss was encouraging, so I jumped in and planned to study for a business degree. I signed up for a speech class, a Spanish class and an accounting class in the fall of 2001 at the local community college. In October I tearfully handed my accounting professor a blank exam and didn't go back to accounting. I knew that night that I was a words person, not a numbers person. And I do love words. My favorite writers are those who can use the language as playthings. A well constructed phrase, whether in a song, a poem, a political article or news source, can make a bad day good.

What, you may ask, do these disparate items have to do with each other? Well, the language I love is under assault. Today I would like to stop American men and women from calling what they do in the fall to get venison "hunting." They no longer traipse through the woods in search of  herbivorious ungulates. They build tall stands, usually on a friend's property where deer have been spotted rather than out in the wild. They wear camouflage clothing to blend in, and rub their bodies with stuff to prevent the deer from catching their smell. They spread feed around to tempt the deer into their sites, and then they shoot. This activity does not help these men connect with their ancestors. It is not a masculine foray into the woods to commune with nature. I don't think it should be called "hunting" anymore. I think it is time to take back our language, and call this fall male bonding exercise "luring."


Phil Ferguson said...

Maybe we could give each deer a gun to make it a challange.

Vonnie Hix Shallenberger said...

That would make it more of a sport!