Nearly a month has gone by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I'm finding that teaching writing classes not only involves lots of time grading papers but also focuses my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but not focusing in the short run on material I want to post here. We'll see what develops. Let's just say, my cessation of blogging is not due to deterioration of my health. I might be back soon. It probably depends on how spring unfolds - wildflowers, lizards, interesting insects, etc., usually fire me up and prompt me to keep my camera batteries charged.
I have been teaching since 1965 and have recently joined the English Department as an Associate Faculty member at Feather River College. Recently taught Nature Literature in America and am currently teaching Interpersonal Communication and Basic Reading and Writing.
Does Katydid qualify as onomatopoeia? Not to my ear. Doesn't matter, though. When the word Katydid was new. probably in the 18th Century when Bartram was traveling, and possibly coined the name of this beautiful insect, other observers, or should I say listeners, thought it sounded like Katy Didn't! On this warm afternoon, my son caught one on the college driveway and it didn't make a sound. He released into the car, and we drove it into town. When we got home, we took a couple of photos then released it to the wild.
To me, attempting to replicate animal sounds with English words is futile. It's interesting to compare how the same process is done in French, Spanish, and German, much less languages I know nothing about. One quickly learns that French, Spanish and German cats sound different than American cats.
Maybe it's because the cats are trying to imitate us. This view is consistent with my belief that babies learn "baby talk" from adults who imagine they are imitating babies.