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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Learning the lingo

A few months ago, I read an article about a French writer who wrote an entire novel without using any verbs. At first I thought it was just a gimmick, but as I'm studying French now, I've concluded that he's onto something: You don't need verbs.

Because the look of confusion is universal, you can pair this look with any number of nouns, and thereby ask a question. For example, instead of asking, "Do you know if this train goes to the airport?" you can point to a train and ask, "Airport?" Or the other night, when the waiter forgot to bring me my beer, instead of asking, "Will you please bring me the beer that I ordered earlier?" I just said, "Beer?"

This is great. I've downloaded a flashcard program for my computer, and I'm loading it up with nothing but nouns. Of course, this is just survival French, so I won't be able to use it for, say, business or diplomacy. (Well, maybe: Point to an empty warehouse and ask, "Weapons of mass destruction?" Good luck following the answer, though, in any language.)

What a great start!