Thursday, February 21, 2008

Us As Biscuits

Something I read or heard recently stirred my brain to think of a particular word. I could remember a little bit of what the word meant. I had the concept and the idea of it; I just couldn’t remember the word itself. It drives me crazy when that happens.

So, I went searching. It didn't take long to find it: Anthropomorphism. It’s a sophisticated, intellectual sounding word, isn’t it? Right up there with onomatopoeia (another word I came across in my searching; you know what it is, you just can’t remember what it’s called).

Anthropomorphism is when you assign human characteristics to something that is not human. Like the mouth of the river or the angry storm clouds. Cartoon animals that talk are also an example. Some of the definitions I found went further in the explanation to say that it is often associated with a deity. In other words, we don’t really know what God looks like so we describe and understand Him in our own familiar human terms. I haven't ever visibly seen God's hands but I can relate how He's touched my life with them.

I was glad to have the mystery solved of the word that was temporarily lost from my vocabulary, but then I had another mental dilemma. What is the opposite of anthropomorphism? What do you call it when we describe humans as something inanimate or non-human? I do it all the time. I call my husband Honey. If someone’s afraid to do something I call them Chicken. There are also Weasels, Bull Dogs, Baby Dolls, Sweetie Pies, it goes on and on.

So, how did I ever get on this subject in the first place? Well, let me show you….
This is a Valentine card my husband gave me.

He dreams of me. He dreams of biscuits. He makes me laugh everyday because he is Nuts.

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

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