Sunday, October 2, 2016

Canimorphizing people

If attributing human qualities to a dog is anthropomorphizing, then what do you call applying canine qualities to a person? Canimorphizing will do for now.
"If you were a dog, what do you think you would be?" Julia stuffed a large piece of cake into her mouth. "I don't know." Jackson shrugged. " A Labrador maybe?" and they had both, in unison, shouted, "No!" incredulously, as if he were insane even to contemplate being a Labrador. "You are so not a Labrador, Jackson," Julia said, "Labradors are pedestrian."

"Chocolate Labs aren't so bad," Amelia said. "It's the yellow ones that are. . . tedious."

"Chocolate Labradors." Julia laughed. "I always think you should be able to eat them."

"I think Mr. Brodie is an English pointer," Amelia said decisively.

. . .

"I don't think so," Julia said, after having mulled over the dog question (did they ever agree about anything?). "No, not a pointer. And certainly not an English one. Perhaps an Old Danish pointer. . . . But you know, Milly, I think Mr. Brodie is a German shepherd. You can just tell he would drag you out of a burning building or a river in flood. He would save you!"
Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (New York: Little Brown & Co., 2004), pp. 158-59.

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