Ever notice how some folk can remind you of animals? Mike Bear, astrologer extraordinaire, had this uncanny knack of spotting, almost immediately the characteristics of an animal in just about everyone he came across – and his friends were all assigned their animal names with which he would refer to them thereafter. This memory of The Bear floated down that stream of thought when we were introduced to a rather odd looking guy at Bareass Boulevard a week or so ago. Rather on the bulgy side, he had a distinctly ‘ranine’ look about him and Java, being into frogs the way he is, spotted it immediately.

On being introduced, (Freddy was his name) I swear he croaked his ‘pleased to meet you’ and stuck out his rather skinny hand – certainly skinny in proportion to the rest of him – and I was glad to notice that his fingers weren’t webbed. He seemed to be a man of few words and sat there on his bar-stool checking out the scene. I half-expected at any moment to see his tongue flick out to capture one of those moths fluttering around, but nothing quite so strange occurred.

Aaanyways, getting back to The Bear and his penchant for …… shit, I can’t seem to find the word for the opposite of ‘anthropomorphism’, which is the appropriate word for assigning animals with human characteristics, behaviour or form. A quick Google search indicated that there is some doubt about there being such a word at all. One reference posited that the word is ‘zoomorphism’, but more searching indicated that ‘zoomorphism’ is ‘the attribution of animal forms or characteristics to gods’. Apparently it is also often mistaken for anthropomorphism, or the act of attributing human qualities to non-human things, while in fact, zoomorphism can often be better described as the act of attributing animal qualities to non animal things. I also read that some common misconceptions of the word included that Zoomorphism is unrelated to human-to-animal transformation because zoomorphism does not deal with humans; rather, it is a reference to the representation of inanimate objects or deities that bear the characteristics of animals. Zoomorphism is often mistaken for anthropomorphism, or the act of attributing human qualities to non-human things.

Now that the entire thought process that was geared into getting this post going the way it should have has been has been totally screwed up by the lack of an appropriate word, I’m going to put it away for now – and do a bit more etymological research in the hopes of discovering the correct word for the attribution of animal characteristics, behaviour or form to humans. So if you have any idea, please let us know.

In the meantime, Java found out that Freddy is an Entomologist by profession and is currently engaged in collecting rare, endemic insects in the Sinharaja forest.

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