Unborn Alabama chickens

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Photograph taken by François Lang at a farm stand run by Painted Hand Farm at the Sunday farm market in Bethesda MD (undoubtedly in response to the recent Alabama Supreme Court opinion that frozen embryos are unborn children).

Is this silly? serious? somewhere in between? snide, snotty, satirical? sarcastic? (non)sensical? (in/non)sensitive?

In this stream of sibilance, I detect layers of conflicting meaning and intention.



Selected readings


  1. Peter Taylor said,

    February 26, 2024 @ 2:13 pm

    And is "Predator friendly" another way of saying "Free-range"?

  2. C Baker said,

    February 26, 2024 @ 3:20 pm

    If they haven't been fertilized I'd call it false advertising.

  3. Gregory Kusnick said,

    February 26, 2024 @ 7:38 pm

    But can they ride bicycles?

  4. Steve Morrison said,

    February 26, 2024 @ 9:30 pm

    Well, the saying “Don’t count your chickens until they’re hatched” may need some revision!

  5. Jenny Chu said,

    February 26, 2024 @ 11:40 pm

    This falls squarely into the middle of 'snarky' territory.

  6. Philip Taylor said,

    February 28, 2024 @ 10:59 am

    Jenny — Unfamiliar with "snarky" — is it a portmanteau word from "snide" and "sarky", where "sarky" is a colloquial form of "sarcastic" ?

  7. Rodger C said,

    February 28, 2024 @ 1:03 pm

    Philip–I'm not sure about the etymology, but you have the meaning right.

  8. Philip Taylor said,

    February 28, 2024 @ 1:27 pm

    Well, not a portmanteau word at all, it would seem —

    Formed within English, by derivation.
    Etymons: snark v., ‑y suffix1.
    < snark v. + ‑y suffix1.

    where for "snark" (vb), meaning "to find fault (with), to nag" we find —

    An imitative or expressive formation.
    Corresponds to Middle Low German and Low German snarken (North Frisian snarke, Swedish and Norwegian snarka), Middle High German snarchen (German schnarchen, †schnarken), of imitative origin: compare snork v.

  9. Philip Anderson said,

    February 29, 2024 @ 3:24 am

    ‘Snark’ and ‘snork’ set me thinking of Lewis Carroll’s Snark and Tove Jansson’s Snork Maiden.

  10. Steve Morrison said,

    February 29, 2024 @ 6:19 pm

    And that in turn made me think of Rowling’s Crumple-horned Snorkack.

  11. Andreas Johansson said,

    March 1, 2024 @ 9:46 am

    I've always assumed the Snork Maiden's name comes form Sw. snorkig "impolite in a haughty manner" (to use Wiktionary's definition).

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