Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Going Turkey

My daughter aged 4 and a half (and she insists on the half) has been asking some tough questions of late.

Recently I've been stumped by: "Who made God?" and "What are the red bits on a turkey called?".

I remain stumped by the first question, and have been reluctant to enter into a debate as to the existence of god at this stage of her life. I'd rather bring her up to believe and then go through her own torture of embracing or rejecting religion (is that cruel?).

But thanks to the ubiquitous power of google I do now know that :
Turkeys have several oddly named appendages: the caruncle, snood, wattle and beard. A caruncle is a red fleshy growth on the head and upper neck of the turkey, a snood is the red fleshy growth from the base of the beak which hangs over the side of the beak, and a wattle is the red, loose appendage at the turkey's neck.

So now you know too.

Another question (Do I use brackets as a punctuation tool too much?)


Third World Ant said...

Thanks for the turkey info - you reminded me of the word snood, which has always cracked me up (and there I go again!)

As for brackets, I have that same concern myself - although hyphens of late have posed more concern. Is it suggesting we don't take enough time to think out our sentences vefore writing them, and then have to attach appendages in brackets/hyphens?

Third World Ant said...

Okay, google's ubiquitous power has revealed an answer to my age-old problem regarding use of brackets:

"Placing full stops inside brackets at the end of sentences - in US English the full stop is usually placed inside the brackets; in British English it is usually left outside. User interface strings probably should not be using brackets at all (and this is an excuse to show that if brackets are used inside a sentence the full stop goes at the end of the sentence). (If the whole sentence is inside brackets the full stop goes inside.)"

And also on the overuse of brackets:

In literature and informal writing, parenthetical phrases have been used extensively in stream of consciousness literature. Of particular note is the great southern American author William Faulkner, whose use of parenthetical constructions was legendary, effective, and (at times) frustrating. See Absalom, Absalom and the Quentin section of The Sound and the Fury for the best known examples. In most writing, overuse of parentheses is usually a sign of a badly structured text.

mike said...

Turkeys are nice, because they have red bits. 'Nuff said. (You know what I mean?)

VallyP said...

I loved this post. It really made me laugh over the wonderfully disarming and disconcerting things that children ask. On the question of God, I'm with you there. On the question of Turkeys, that would be a worthy peice of information for that other wonderful source of trivia: Chappies. On the question of brackets, I'm happy with them, but only in informal writing. They allow a kind of secondary line to texts that I enjoy. On a more formal basis, they can be irritating. Ever read any of Colin Dexter's Morse books? He definitely over uses them in my opinion. Then, he can be a bit pompous. You aren't!

ATW said...

Thanks guys. On use of brackets.
Stream of consciousness, maybe. Badly constructed text, probably. Do I really care (only a little!).

Ant (refer first comment). Interesting coincidence that brackets & snoods can be considered as appendages. To writing and turkeys respectively.