It’s all the buzz these days. You must not call your dog or cat or canary “a pet.” There are lots of words that nice people don’t say anymore. Usually they are put-downs against certain people. Who gets hurt when a dog is called a pet? Is it hurtful to call a dog a dog? A cat a cat? If so, who does it hurt -- the dog or his owner, person or friend?
I can guess why this has come up lately. Imagine there is a flood, and you are at home with your dog. When a boat comes to rescue you, will they take the dog, too? Will it improve the dog’s chances if you call him “a member of the family”?
Two young guys stole a pig one night. They put the pig between them in the seat. They were stopped by the police. They put a hat on the pig’s head. The officer asked their names. One boy said, “I’m John Smith.” The other said, “I’m Bill Smith. He said, “This is our little brother.” He poked the pig and the pig said, “Oink!” The officer let them leave. But he shook his head and said, “John, Bill and Oink! I didn’t know the Smiths had three boys!” So the pig became a brother. They probably didn’t want him as a pet, anyway.
Word List: certain, Imagine, rescue, answered.