Following Friday’s post on bilingualism in Canada…
A spoof news report led to quite a few red faces in Quebec a couple of weeks ago. CBC Radio ran a story about a new City bylaw which was to require dogs to learn French and English commands, otherwise “dog parks would descend into chaos”. City employees were to be on hand to administer comprehension tests for basic commands.
The ‘new bylaw’ came in a context of disputed language laws in the province (see this post about retailers’ signs), and therefore, it seems, was considered quite plausible.
Here are couple of gems from the report:
“The necessity for the bylaw became clear to the counsellor when he was jumped in a park by an anglo dog that tried to lick him. Commands in French for the dog to go away were in vain, he lamented. “The dog looked back at me — total incomprehension — I mean, our alienation from each other was absolute.””
“The counsellor said he believed both anglophones and francophones would find it enlightening to know how to say “walkies” in Canada’s two official languages.”
A significant proportion of the media and the public were fooled by the report. 🙂
Read more here in The Province.