In an old Destiny’s Child song a woman singer, suspicious that her boyfriend is cheating on her, asks him on the telephone to say her name. If he says it, it will mean one thing – no other woman’s with him to give him grief about talking to the singer/girlfriend. If he won’t say the singer’s name, it means something else. Without much thought we understand implicitly the context of the singer’s request and that the boyfriend’s utterance of her name (or not) is loaded with meaning. As members of a verbal species, such is the power of language among us.
All of this nuance, context and meaning is lost on dogs. Continue Reading