What's in a Word | All Blogs


Forget the rust-colored dwarf

By Debra Dobbins

I’m feeling a bit peckish because Satchel Pooch led me astray today. When he said that Bucky Katt must have the eyes of a “ferruginous pygmy,” I envisioned a dwarf with rust-colored skin.

Upon researching the phrase, I’ve decided that Satchel must have meant a ferruginous pygmy owl.

This diminutive owl probably does have sharp eyesight. Usually topping out at about six inches, it can be found in south-central Arizona, Mexico and Central America, as well as in countries such as Bolivia and Argentina in South America, according to Wikipedia. Its Latin name is Glaucidium brasilianum.

This cartoon reminds me that good readers will try to figure out the meaning of words or phrases from the context of the text, but often should rely on a dictionary or other reference sources to confirm their inferences.

A Glaucidium brasilianumin in Mexico
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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