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   Undertoad  Sunday Jan 5 12:06 PM

1/5/2003: Canuck cattle on the move



Something pastoral for a lazy Sunday.

In the frozen north of Calgary, a ranching family moves 300 head of cattle down Alberta Highway 566.

Why do we say head of cattle?



Griff  Sunday Jan 5 12:12 PM

Its faster to count heads than legs?



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jan 5 06:32 PM

Good question! Have you ever heard someone say gaggle without geese? Or pod without whales? I think all groups of animals should be refered to as x many butts.



jaguar  Sunday Jan 5 06:54 PM

Was there any purpose at all in using a larger font with that message?



slang  Sunday Jan 5 06:55 PM

(stupid question coming up)

I see in the photo that there is a brown patch of land that is free from snow and seems to follow the contour of the road.

Do the Canadian snow plow drivers have a different standard up there?



elSicomoro  Sunday Jan 5 07:01 PM

Dear God...that has to be the most perfect sentence jag has ever typed on the Cellar!

Someone print that and frame it!



Griff  Sunday Jan 5 08:30 PM

I smell a greatest hits nomination! Er ah maybe it the cow crap.

Slang, its just part of the great white north conspiracy. They run snow makers along the roads at night, creating the illusion of a winter wonderland in what is essentially, Jamaica North.



slang  Sunday Jan 5 08:32 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Griff
Slang, its just part of the great white north conspiracy.
(slang thinks: I shoulda known that)


wolf  Sunday Jan 5 10:35 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by slang
(stupid question coming up)

I see in the photo that there is a brown patch of land that is free from snow and seems to follow the contour of the road.

Do the Canadian snow plow drivers have a different standard up there?
Actually, that is grazing land for Canadian snow deer.

At dusk and dawn they gather along the roadways and nibble the snow away in great swatches.

You didn't used to see so much snow gone at one time, but recent trends in Canada regarding gun registration have curtailed a lot of the usual culling of the herds by hunting and you'll see brown patches like that because of over-grazing.

See, it wasn't a stupid question after all.


tpsreport  Monday Jan 6 11:57 AM

Head of cattle

The use of "head of cattle" to refer to the group of cattle is synecdoche. MWCD10 <a href="http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=synecdoche">defines</a> <em>synecdoche</em> as "a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (as society for high society), the species for the genus (as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (as boards for stage)"

Here's an interesting [1] <a href="http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-syn1.htm">link</a> that describes the difference between synecdoche and metonymy from the excellent World Wide Words site. I suppose that using the word "link" to refer to contents of a web page is itself an example of metonymy.

[1] Interesting for those that are interested in amateur linguistics, that is. :-)



BubbleSculptor  Monday Jan 13 04:08 AM

Easier to count heads..

...back in my cattle driving days, I learned why it's called "head of cattle". When you are counting the cattle that pass thru a gate, or in the herd, corral, etc, it's pretty dang hard to count bodies or other parts, but the heads stick out. You count heads, hence, 300 head of cattle.



mitheral  Sunday Sep 25 04:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by slang
(stupid question coming up)

I see in the photo that there is a brown patch of land that is free from snow and seems to follow the contour of the road.

Do the Canadian snow plow drivers have a different standard up there?
Seriously though what has happened is the grass has been cut everywhere it's white and not where it's brown. So the tall grass sticks up above the fallen snow giving the big swath of brown. The snow is still there you just can't see it.


floatingk  Monday Sep 26 06:56 AM

In Montana the locals would plow sections of the ditch as wind breaks to cut down on the amount of drifting, right next to the fence is always a good place bc the slowed down a bit. Thats what I reckon.



mitheral  Monday Sep 26 11:31 AM

Could be. I've never seen anyone plowing a ditch around here but it is kind of weird with my theory that the brown patch doesn't extend right to the fence. Course that could be because the animals that were living on the other side of the fence ate all the grass they could reach thru the fence.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Sep 26 07:45 PM

Welcome to the Cellar, floatingk. Is that your brand?



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