Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Aquatic Birds, Exotic Words

When I first saw this aquatic bird down at Aaron's Beach, I knew it looked familiar but could not quite pull up the page in my dusty brain which housed the exact term. Two words flickered and buzzed then blended together before smoldering and causing an electrical fire, and those two words were:

1. comerant and
2. pomerant

(Do not adjust your dials, there is nothing wrong with your screens. Please understand the author is going through stress, self-diagnosed adult-onset ADD, self-diagnosed middle-age-induced hormonal upheaval and any number of other inevitable maladies. The errors you see above are written exactly as they were seen and spelled in my head, which used to house a pretty decent brain before it up and quit.)

Welcome to the Wild and Wonderful World of Marine Biology, hosted by Chesapeake Bay Woman, a certifiable certified word-messer-upper.

So, given that my brain could not decide between these two similar-sounding words, I went to the expert known as Google to figure this thing out:

cbw: Types "comerant" in the search bar and cringes as she presses the enter key.

Google: "Um, hi, CBW? This is Google speaking. *cough* Are you sure you didn't mean 'cormorant' instead of 'comerant?' "

cbw: "Well quite honestly I don't know what in the hay I meant, because I couldn't remember the daggone word, and I'm not even sure this is a cormorant bird when all is said and done.

Google: "Get with the program. Talk to Wikipedia about cormorants and let me get back to people whose brains haven't relocated to Taiwan."

Wikipedia was much nicer and said:
Cormorant (kôr'mərənt), common name for large aquatic birds, related to the gannet and the pelican, and found chiefly in temperate and tropical regions, usually on the sea but also on inland waters. Cormorants are 2 to 3 ft (61–92 cm) long, with thick, generally dark plumage and green eyes. The feet are webbed, and the bill is long with the upper mandible terminally hooked. Expert swimmers, cormorants pursue fish underwater. In Asia they are used by fishermen who collar the leashed birds to prevent them from swallowing the catch. The double-crested cormorant of the Atlantic coast, Brandt's cormorant of the Pacific coast, and the red-faced cormorant, Phalacrocorax urile, are common forms. The glossy black European cormorant is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. A South American cormorant is a source of guano."

OK, so there is a chance this is a cormorant, at least now I'm spelling it correctly. But what, speaking of guano-ing up the English language, is a pomerant? Here's how that conversation went:

cbw: "Um, Google, what's a pomerant?" (Types hurriedly and steps a few comfortable feet away from the computer monitor after pressing the enter key.)

Google: "Are you kidding me?"

cbw: "I was just checking! You never know, there might be some rare bird called a pomerant. Why would that name pop into my mind?"

Google: "Ask a trained mental health professional."

cbw: "So, there is no bird called a pomerant?"

Google: "If you don't stop bothering me, I am going to need a mental health professional."

cbw: "I wast just checking."

Google: "Guano."

cbw: "Same to you. Only more."

These search engines think they know it all.

Anywho, is this a cormorant or something else? If you use Google or Wikipedia to find out, do NOT tell them I sent you.


Pueblo girl said...

Yup, those are cormorants - see the two behind the posts in the water, with their bodies real low in the water?

You were OBVIOUSLY having an attack of Spanish (cormoran). Here is a POMERAN:

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

POMERANIAN! That's it! Thank you, Pueblo Girl.

OK, so the words sort of sound alike, don't they? Never mind that one's a bird and the other's a dog.

Now I can commute to work knowing that not only did I confused words, I confused species.

Happy whatever today is, everybody. And Happy Pomerant too.

Ann Marie said...

See there is a good reason you are friends with me...
Next time there is an aquatic bird giving your brain a whirl.. call me. I have the book of birds. :) and I won't even say... Janice.. don't you mean.._______. I will just smile and nod my head and turn to the right page.

Mental P Mama said...

Google gets so uppity sometimes...I think you're just fine;) And I'll be there soon!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

You may need to switch search engines!

Daryl said...

See its not you... you have your birds and your fruits confused .. clearly you need some pomegranate juice.

And tween you and me, I use Google all the time to speel cheeck.

Wrod Verf: thromm - the sound your brain makes when Google messes with it OR a nasty old now dead Senator

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Never heard of such a thing. I'd have pronounced it a "very large water fowl" and refilled my glass of Merlot.

Annie said...

whew..confused birds, species, and now readers in blogoland!

I'm with Daryl..I think you need some pomegranate juice (it's yummy).

love the bird anyway, and the windows below..

I am having a wonderful time in grandchildren legoland..

foolery said...

I just figured it out -- *I* am a cormorant! A red-faced, guano-producing (like you wouldn't believe) trash-eating, web-footed-wide-mouthed squawker from the northern hemisphere.

Thank you for helping me find my true people.

Do cormorants like Peanut M&MS?