The Friday Funny: Understanding different perspectives across language (and species) barriers

One of the great challenges as an evaluator is understanding the perspectives of various stakeholders, especially those for whom there are communication challenges and language barriers.

Here’s a cute example from Michelle’s Joke Vault illustrating the different perspectives of cats and dogs on life with humans …

Dog and Cat Diaries

image from Sephiroty Fiesta's collection on flicka

The Diary of a Dog

8:00am Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30am A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40am A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30am Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00pm Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00pm Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00pm Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00pm Milk bones! My favorite thing!
6:00pm Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00pm Wow! Watched TV with my family! My favorite thing!
11:00pm Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Diary of a Cat

It is day 683 of my captivity: My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and myself are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I vomit on the floor.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a ‘good little hunter’ I am. The audacity! There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my
confinement was due to the power of ‘allergies.’ I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released –and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded!

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. The captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe, for now.

Reminds us of the classic bumper sticker:

Dogs have owners; cats have staff

1 comment to The Friday Funny: Understanding different perspectives across language (and species) barriers

  • Patricia Rogers

    I’d love to see the 4th generation evaluation of THAT household, with the evaluator exchanging these different constructions!