Monday, March 4, 2013

Yorkshier* (for Yorkshire*)

While waiting at the bus stop the other morning, I struck up a conversation with a guy walking a tiny Yorkshire terrier, bouncing around in the grass on the end of a retractable leash, when an older man with an angry face strode by, muttering, "Could you pull your damn dog back?" Noticing my quizzical stare, he added peevishly, "We're not all fanciers!" More than just rude, it seemed rather odd to me. Firstly, we're talking about one of the cutest damn dogs in the whole wide world here. Secondly, the poor thing had barely stepped onto the sidewalk at all; it was busy concluding its toilet at a nearby tree. And thirdly, so what if it had? It was small enough to practically fit in the palm of your hand, it hadn't so much as barked yet, and it would surely have melted the heart of almost anyone else. But perhaps the most anomalous thing of all was the way Mad Man, without a trace of irony or effeminacy, had employed the word fancier. While he made it crystal clear he wasn't one, it still made him sound a bit twee. (The truly twee and utterly blameless Yorkie was adorably oblivious to it all.) Though it's a "low probability" typo on the Ballard list, let's not ignore this little one today. There were two cases of Yorkshier* (for Yorkshire*) in OhioLINK, and 16 of them in WorldCat.

(A Yorkshire terrier named Apple, in Provo, Utah, May 11, 2007, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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